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February 21, 2013

Twitter Adds Email Authentication To Prevent Malicious User Attacks

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Twitter HackWith Twitter accounts being hacked left and right the company on Thursday debuted a new email authentication platform to fight back against forged Twitter email addresses.

Twitter announced the inclusion of DMARC, a technology that prevents cybercriminals from sending emails to users via fake Twitter.com addresses.

On the company’s official blog Twitter writes:

“We send out lots of emails every day to our users letting them know what’s happening on Twitter. But there’s no shortage of bad actors sending emails that appear to come from a Twitter.com address in order to trick you into giving away key details about your Twitter account, or other personal information, commonly called ‘phishing’.”

Twitter implemented DMARC earlier in the month but chose to officially roll out its announcement after the Twitter accounts for Jeep and Burger King became the victims of hackers. read more

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July 19, 2011

Former Reddit Employee Indicted For Data Theft

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Reddit LogoAaron Swartz, a former employee at popular link sharing website Reddit was indicted this week for data theft after it was found that he had stolen more than 4 million documents from MIT and the academic journal and paper archive JSTOR.

District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz filed charges against Swartz after determining that he had broken into MIT to steal the documents.

Among his various serious charges are wire fraud, computer fraud and “obtaining information from a protected computer” plus criminal forfeiture, charges which could place Swartz behind bars for up to 35 years, while slapping him with a $1 million fine.

When not committing random acts of crime Swartz is actually the found of a non-profit organization called Demand Progress which examined public policy and the internet.

Demand Progress has released a statement in which they state that they don’t believe their founder “broke into” MIT facilities, noting:

“As best as we can tell, he is being charged with allegedly downloading too many scholarly journal articles from the Web. The government contends that downloading said articles is actually felony computer hacking and should be punished with time in prison.” read more

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May 25, 2011

Accepting Unknown Friends On Facebook Can Get Your Account Easily Hacked

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facebook hacking

If you have every accepted a friends request and you weren’t sure if you actually knew the person you could be setting yourself up to have your account hacked. Facebook security protocols, while ever improving still leave a rather large loophole in the company’s infrastructure that hackers are implementing in their favor.

Here’s how the scam works. A Facebook user accepts friends requests from three people they “may have known as some time” at which point the hacker, who started all three accounts attempts to reset your password.

The hacker accomplishes this goal by telling Facebook that they no longer have access to the email account or mobile phone associated with the account (as shown in the screen grab above), they then incorrectly answer the security question you have entered at which point Facebook will ask them to have three friends help them verify your account by sending them a special code. read more

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April 9, 2009

Security and Hacking: Reporting Cyber Crime

security-keyboard-handcuffsOver the past few months, I’ve been writing a lot about cyber crime and security vulnerabilities, especially as it impacts social media and blogs. The April 1, 2009, expansion of the Conficker/Downadup Worm Infection worried many as the 1 in 16 ratio of infected computers increased dramatically around the globe and attacks were aimed at social media services like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

With the increase in cyber crime and security issues, and the growing profit found in cyber crimes, where do you go to report cyber crime if you find it or are a victim of it? read more

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