Blog Archive

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A Plague on Crypto and Twitter, Unlikely to Stop

The teenager arrested for allegedly masterminding the recent Twitter hack comes from a community that’s been targeting crypto users for years.

The group’s attacks have one big thing in common: They take advantage of human fallibility rather than code vulnerability. These so-called social engineering attacks are growing in sophistication, and while the Twitter case is being prosecuted vigorously, the broader problem is unlikely to end soon, security experts said.

The New York Times reported the alleged mastermind was a part of the “OG” users community, which traffics in short unique online handles, such as a single character or word on social media. The hackers are also known for SIM swapping, a tactic that has long plagued the world of crypto. 

Related: Twitter Hacker Owns $3.4M in Bitcoin, Court Sets Bail at $725K

Florida resident Graham Clark was arrested on July 31. State Attorney Andrew Warren filed 30 felony charges, including

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Internet freedom is in imminent danger, claims Twitter boss Jack Dorsey in attack on other tech companies

Getty Images
Getty Images

The freedom of the internet is under imminent threat, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has said.

He said his rival tech giants were “killing competing ideas” and that the idea of fairness on the internet was under threat.

Other companies are creating “walled-garden alternative internets”, in an apparent attack on other companies such as Facebook.

Instead, Twitter is focusing on “an open internet” that no one company was able to control, he said.

Mr Dorsey was speaking after the four biggest tech companies in the world – Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook – sent their chief executives to a US congress hearing. The questioning was part of an antitrust investigation, looking at the ways that those major firms could be abusing their dominance of their respecrtive markets.

In a series of tweets, Mr Dorsey said: “The most incredible aspect of the internet is that no one person or organisation

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Twitter accuses rivals of ‘killing competition’ as US Democrats suggest they may ‘break up’ Big Tech

 In this June 7, 2019, file photo, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leaves after his talk with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Twitter shares rose Monday, March 2, 2020, following reports an activist investor took a stake in the social media service and plans to push for changes - Francois Mori/AP
In this June 7, 2019, file photo, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leaves after his talk with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Twitter shares rose Monday, March 2, 2020, following reports an activist investor took a stake in the social media service and plans to push for changes – Francois Mori/AP

Twitter and its chief executive Jack Dorsey have issued a veiled attack on rival social networks such as Facebook for using their market power to “kill competing ideas and organisations”.

Mr Dorsey said on Thursday that “large organisations” attempting to build online “walled gardens” were a threat to online freedom, and pledged his company to “fighting for an open internet”.

Twitter itself also issued a statement urging regulators to “hold corporate power to account” and “avoid entrenching the dominance o the biggest players by protecting competition”.

It came after leaders of Facebook, Apple, Google and

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Trump’s Department of Commerce Petitions FCC to Narrow Protections for Twitter, Facebook

The Department of Commerce (DOC) has formally petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to review and narrow the interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — which currently protects platforms like Facebook and Twitter from being sued for content their users post — and impose new regulations on social media platforms.

The petition, sent to the FCC on Monday, was requested as part of President Donald Trump’s executive order in May that called for new regulations against social media companies that moderate or censor the content users post on their respective platforms.

Currently, Section 230 states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider” and that none of these platforms can be held liable for “material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively

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Twitter and Instagram must explain why rapper’s “abhorrent” anti-Semitic posts were left up for so long, says Priti Patel

File photo dated 06/07/18 of grime artist Wiley. Home Secretary Priti Patel has called on social media companies to act faster in removing "appalling hatred" from their platforms following outrage over anti-Semitic posts made by grime artist Wiley. PA Photo. Issue date: Sunday July 26, 2020. Police are investigating a series of comments made on the musician's Instagram and Twitter accounts on Friday that led to him being banned from both for seven days. In a tweet on Sunday, Priti Patel said: "The antisemitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent. See PA story POLICE Wiley. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
File photo dated 06/07/18 of grime artist Wiley. Home Secretary Priti Patel has called on social media companies to act faster in removing “appalling hatred” from their platforms following outrage over anti-Semitic posts made by grime artist Wiley. PA Photo. Issue date: Sunday July 26, 2020. Police are investigating a series of comments made on the musician’s Instagram and Twitter accounts on Friday that led to him being banned from both for seven days. In a tweet on Sunday, Priti Patel said: “The antisemitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent. See PA story POLICE Wiley. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Priti Patel has demanded that social media firms act quicker to remove “appalling hatred” from their sites amid widespread outrage over anti-Semitic posts by the grime artist Wiley.

The Home Secretary has demanded a “full explanation” from Twitter and Instagram for allowing the posts to remain visible for more

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Twitter and Facebook become targets in Trump and Biden ads

CHICAGO (AP) — Social media has become the target of a dueling attack ad campaign being waged online by the sitting president and his election rival. They’re shooting the messenger while giving it lots of money.

President Donald Trump has bought hundreds of messages on Facebook to accuse its competitor, Twitter, of trying to stifle his voice and influence the November election.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has spent thousands of dollars advertising on Facebook with a message of his own: In dozens of ads on the platform, he’s asked supporters to sign a petition calling on Facebook to remove inaccurate statements, specifically those from Trump.

The major social media companies are navigating a political minefield as they try to minimize domestic misinformation and rein in foreign actors from manipulating their sites as they did in the last U.S. presidential election. Their new actions — or in some cases, lack of

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Twitter Cryptocurrency Scam Echoes Previous Schemes on YouTube

(Bloomberg) — The Bitcoin scam that hackers deployed while breaking into the Twitter Inc. accounts of political leaders and business titans last week closely resembles similar schemes used previously on YouTube.

In the July 15 Twitter attack, hackers hijacked accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Jeff Bezos and asked their followers to send Bitcoins to their crypto wallet with a promise to double the amount. In a matter of hours, the hackers had accrued more than $100,000.

But before compromising those accounts, the hackers targeted the Twitter accounts of popular cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Coinbase Inc., Gemini Trust Company LLC and Binance Holdings Ltd. In this case, the attackers tweeted a link to a website dubbed “CryptoForHealth,” which also promised to double donations made to a crypto wallet.

The move caught the attention of computer security researchers, who say similar scams were perpetrated in recent months

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QAnon content is no longer welcome on Twitter. Cue the conspiracy theories.

QAnon content is no longer welcome on Twitter. Cue the conspiracy theories.
QAnon content is no longer welcome on Twitter. Cue the conspiracy theories.

Twitter announced on Tuesday that accounts and content linked with or promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory would be blocked or otherwise limited, with over 7,000 accounts already removed from the platform.

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory turned online community based around message board posts by “Q,” a user or several users purporting to be a “military insider,” made since late 2017. The theory posits that Donald Trump is the secret leader of the fight against a “deep state,” which works to protect a huge network of celebrities and public figures supposedly involved with devil worship, child sex trafficking, and the creation of a “New World Order.” The cult-like community that has grown around the incoherent, constantly debunked conspiracy narrative believe a reckoning is coming where these public figures will be secretly or publicly arrested and/or executed (despite

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Twitter announces broad crackdown on QAnon accounts and content

Twitter announced a broad crackdown on accounts and content related to the QAnon conspiracy theory on Tuesday, citing its policies against “behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm”.

The company said it would block URLs associated with QAnon from being shared on the platform, and would no longer recommend content and accounts associated with QAnon or highlight them in search and conversations. These restrictions will affect approximately 150,000 accounts, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed. NBC News first reported the crackdown.

“These accounts are engaging in behavior that is designed to further the spread of content that has resulted in clear and well-documented informational, physical, societal and psychological offline harm,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We have been monitoring the situation closely and determined that additional action is now required pursuant to the Twitter rules against our policies on spam and platform manipulation as well as abusive behavior.”

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How ‘Knives Out’ and a fan page for Ana de Armas harness the power of stan Twitter

Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera in "Knives Out." <span class="copyright">(Lionsgate)</span>
Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera in “Knives Out.” (Lionsgate)

The “Knives Out” social media team and the Twitter account @ArmasUpdates have a common goal: to celebrate last year’s hit whodunit and, by extension, the movie’s breakout star, Ana de Armas.

But two of the actress’s biggest Twitter cheerleaders found themselves at odds this month after the 23-year-old cinephile behind @ArmasUpdates publicly exposed the @KnivesOut account for blocking him on the platform. The resulting feud went somewhat viral — albeit among a niche audience — even catching the attention of director Rian Johnson who, like many others, wondered what was afoot.

When examined with a detective’s magnifying glass, the clash is a case study of the intersection of film marketing and stan Twitter — a subset of social media devoted to championing, or “stanning,” a certain celebrity, film, TV series, etc. In their approaches to audience engagement, movie studios and

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