Thursday January 17, 2019
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Experts Conclude That Twitter Accounts Are Still Vulnerable

Insinia recommended that users should remove their phone number from the Twitter account untill the bug is fixed.

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Twitter, tweets
The Twitter logo is shown at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California. VOA

Despite claims of a fix by Twitter, researchers at a Britain-based security firm who earlier hijacked accounts of several celebrities and journalists to expose a vulnerability have said that the loophole still persists at the popular social media platform.

Insinia Security last week said it successfully hijacked the accounts of a number of celebrities, including Eamonn Holmes, Louis Theroux, Simon Calder and Saira Khan among others.

To take control of the accounts, the researchers at the company used fake SMS verification that made it appear as if they belonged to the account owners, The Telegraph reported.

Twitter, tweets, social media
Twitter allows publishers to monetise video views globally. (VOA)

A Twitter spokesperson told reporters on Friday that it had “resolved a bug that allowed certain accounts with a connected UK phone number to be targeted by SMS spoofing.”

But the hackers who posted the unauthorised tweets to celebrity accounts appeared to reproduce the experiment after Twitter made its claim, Gizmodo reported on Monday.

A simple method allowed researchers at Insinia Security to send tweets, direct messages, retweet and like tweets, follow and unfollow people, according to the company which warned that the vulnerability could be easily exploited by nation states, hackers and organised crime groups.

The vulnerability could be used to “spread fake news and disinformation via influential celebrities and journalists”, Insinia warned in a blog post.

Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Insinia recommended that users should remove their phone number from the Twitter account untill the bug is fixed.

Also Read: Revenue Growth Of Facebook Ads Slowing Down in The U.S: Report

“Twitter should completely remove this functionality (SMS verification) as users rely on their phone added to account for two-factor authentication,” Insinia said. (IANS)

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Social Media Overuse- A Serious Threat

Scientists have found a connection between excessive social media use and behavior associated with substance abuse.

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Social Media, digital, Encryption, drink, whatsapp, depression
Study Links Social Media Addicts, Substance Abusers (VOA)

Addicted to social media? That’s not just an expression anymore. Scientists have found a connection between excessive social media use and behavior associated with substance abuse.

Researchers at Michigan State University and Monash University in Australia found that heavy social media users tended to make riskier decisions usually seen in drug addicts.

“Around one-third of humans on the planet are using social media, and some of these people are displaying maladaptive, excessive use of these sites,” said Dar Meshi, the study’s lead author and assistant professor at Michigan State University in the U.S.

“Our findings will hopefully motivate the field to take social media overuse seriously,” Meshi said.

Digital, social-media
social media takes over your mental health

Meshi and his team had 71 participants take the Iowa Gambling Task, which is used to measure decision-making abilities in substance abusers and non-abusers.

“Decision-making is oftentimes compromised in individuals with substance use disorders. They sometimes fail to learn from their mistakes and continue down a path of negative outcomes,” Meshi said.

At the end of the exercise, Meshi and his team found that heavy social media users took greater risks even while knowing that they came with negative consequences, the same way drug addicts do.

Also Read: YouTube Bans Dangerous, Harmful Pranks From its Platform

The participants also said that they constantly think about the platforms when not using them and that they lose sleep because of their online activities.

“I believe that social media has tremendous benefits for individuals, but there’s also a dark side when people can’t pull themselves away,” Meshi said. “We need to better understand this drive, so we can determine if excessive social media use should be considered an addiction.” (VOA)