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Chinese Video-Making App TikTok Faces Security Threats

Available in over 150 markets, used in 75 languages globally, and with over 1 billion users, TikTok is one of the most-downloaded apps

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TikTok
The researchers leveraged this vulnerability in TikTok to retrieve personal information saved on user accounts including private email addresses and birthdates. VOA

 Researchers at Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Research on Wednesday exposed multiple vulnerabilities in Chinese short-video making app TikTok, which has over a billion users globally and nearly 300 million in India, saying that personal information such as private and email addresses and sensitive videos of its users are vulnerable to hackers.

The Chinese video making platform is used mainly by teenagers and kids to share, save and keep private (and sometimes very sensitive) videos of themselves and their loved ones.

“Data is pervasive but data breaches are becoming an epidemic, and our latest research shows that the most popular apps are still at risk,” Oded Vanunu, Head of Product Vulnerability Research, Check Point, said in a statement.

The researchers at Check Point Research — the threat intelligence arm of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd — have discovered that an attacker could send a spoofed SMS message to a user containing a malicious link.

When the user clicked on the malicious link, the attacker was able to get a hold of the TikTok account and manipulate its content by deleting videos, uploading unauthorised videos, and making private or “hidden” videos public.

“Social media applications are highly targeted for vulnerabilities as they provide a good source for private data and offer a good attack surface gate.

“Malicious actors are spending large amounts of money and putting in great effort to penetrate into such huge applications. Yet most users are under the assumption that they are protected by the app they are using,” Vanunu added.

The research also found that Tiktok’s subdomain — https://ads.tiktok.com was vulnerable to XSS attacks, which is a type of attack in which malicious scripts are injected into otherwise benign and trusted websites.

The researchers leveraged this vulnerability to retrieve personal information saved on user accounts including private email addresses and birthdates. The Israeli cyber security firm informed TikTok developers of the vulnerabilities exposed in this research and a fix was deployed to ensure its users can safely continue using the TikTok app.

TikTok
Researchers at Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Research on Wednesday exposed multiple vulnerabilities in Chinese short-video making app TikTok, which has over a billion users globally and nearly 300 million in India. VOA

“TikTok is committed to protecting user data. Like many organisations, we encourage responsible security researchers to privately disclose zero day vulnerabilities to us.

“Before public disclosure, CheckPoint agreed that all reported issues were patched in the latest version of our app. We hope that this successful resolution will encourage future collaboration with security researchers,” said Luke Deshotels, PhD, TikTok Security Team.

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Available in over 150 markets, used in 75 languages globally, and with over 1 billion users, TikTok is one of the most-downloaded apps. As of October 2019, TikTok is the most-downloaded app in the US, making it the first Chinese app to have achieved such a record. (IANS)

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Twitter Rolls Out Emoji Reactions For Direct Messages

The official @Twitter account teased the feature sharing the string of emoji that will be available once the feature is live

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Twitter
The latest feature includes seven new reactions and one can add an emoji reaction to any type of Direct Message be it text or media attachments. Pixabay

Micro blogging site Twitter on Thursday rolled out new emoji reactions for Direct Messages to all users on the web, iOS and Android.

It is similar to the functionality that Facebook added to Messenger back in 2017, which enables users to allocate an emoji response to each specific message.

The official @Twitter account teased the feature sharing the string of emoji that will be available once the feature is live.

To add an emoji reaction, hover over the message and click/tap on the heart button called a ‘reaction button’.

A user can also double-tap on the message and select an emoji reaction after the pop-up.

Twitter
Micro blogging site Twitter on Thursday rolled out new emoji reactions for Direct Messages to all users on the web, iOS and Android. Pixabay

“Say more with new emoji reactions for Direct Messages. To add a reaction, click the icon that appears when you hover over the message on web or double tap the message on mobile and select an emoji from the pop-up,” the company said in a tweet.

ALSO READ: Digital Payments Platform PhonePe Unveils “PhonePe ATM” Facility With Unique Feature

The latest feature includes seven new reactions and one can add an emoji reaction to any type of Direct Message be it text or media attachments. (IANS)