theDocumentId => 746520 Twitter Cracks Down on Fake Accounts & Hacked Data ...

Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security //

Policy

10/3/2018
09:35 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

Twitter Cracks Down on Fake Accounts & Hacked Data Before US Election

As Election Day approaches in the US, Twitter is updating its rules to ban fake accounts and crack down on those that disseminate hacked material.

Lost among the accusations leveled at Facebook and what role the company played during the flawed 2016 Presidential Election is Twitter's own role in facilitating the spread of fake news and other misinformation on its platform, especially during that highly contentious election.

Now, the social media firm is looking to shore up its platform before the upcoming US elections in November.

This week, Twitter announced three significant changes to its rules, attempting to crack down on fake accounts, stop the spread of false information on the platform, as well as ban those accounts that spread material stolen or hacked from different sources. The updates, while geared toward the election, will have the added benefit of cutting down on everyday spam that clogs up users' Twitter feeds.

The first of these rules changes addresses fake accounts on the platform. The company now plans to remove certain profiles if they use stock or stolen avatar photos, if they use stolen or copied profile bios or if they use misleading information such as a fake location.

(Source: Pixabay)
(Source: Pixabay)

"We are updating and expanding our rules to better reflect how we identify fake accounts, and what types of inauthentic activity violate our guidelines. We now may remove fake accounts engaged in a variety of emergent, malicious behaviors," according to the October 1 post, although the company does not specifically define what "malicious behavior" is.

The rule updates will also target those accounts that claim responsibility for hacking or disseminating material that was hacked or stolen. For a number of years, Twitter prohibited publishing material that contained certain types of data, such as personal information, but it left the accounts behind these activities alone.

This update changes all that.

"We are also expanding the criteria for when we will take action on accounts which claim responsibility for a hack, which includes threats and public incentives to hack specific people and accounts," according to Twitter, which noted that commentary or news about hacked or stolen material would still be allowed.

The final update includes shutting down accounts that mimic or try and replace other accounts that have been previously suspended or closed. This could be seen as a way for the company to cut down on bot networks that are attempting to use the platform.

Since 2017, when Congress and the public at large began questioning how social media companies are securing and using the personal data of their users, as well as how these sites are sometimes used to launch attacks and threats against individuals, Twitter, Facebook and others have been eager to show that they are combating certain behavior and attempting to become better stewards of their own platforms. (See Social Media Malware: Fake News or Real Threat to Democracy?)

In its Monday update, Twitter notes that in August, the company removed some 50 different accounts that falsely claimed were associated with various state Republican parties. The company also cracked down on more than 700 accounts that originated in Iran after Twitter noticed "coordinated behavior" between them.

Spam reports on Twitter have also dropped, from nearly 17,000 daily reports in May to 16,000 daily reports in September.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-32794
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-26
ArchiSteamFarm is a C# application with primary purpose of idling Steam cards from multiple accounts simultaneously. Due to a bug in ASF code `POST /Api/ASF` ASF API endpoint responsible for updating global ASF config incorrectly removed `IPCPassword` from the resulting config when the caller did no...
CVE-2021-36563
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-26
The CheckMK management web console (versions 1.5.0 to 2.0.0) does not sanitise user input in various parameters of the WATO module. This allows an attacker to open a backdoor on the device with HTML content and interpreted by the browser (such as JavaScript or other client-side scripts), the XSS pay...
CVE-2021-37392
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-26
In RPCMS v1.8 and below, the "nickname" variable is not properly sanitized before being displayed on page. When the API functions are enabled, the attacker can use API to update user nickname with XSS payload and achieve stored XSS. Users who view the articles published by the injected use...
CVE-2021-37393
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-26
In RPCMS v1.8 and below, the "nickname" variable is not properly sanitized before being displayed on page. Attacker can use "update password" function to inject XSS payloads into nickname variable, and achieve stored XSS. Users who view the articles published by the injected user...
CVE-2021-37394
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-26
In RPCMS v1.8 and below, attackers can interact with API and change variable "role" to "admin" to achieve admin user registration.