Archive for Twitter

BREAKING: Trump Tries And Apparently Fails To Circumvent Twitter Ban

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 8, 2021 by itnerd

This didn’t take long.

Reports are now filtering in that President Donald Trump has tried to circumvent his Twitter ban by using the @POTUS account to air his grievances. But it doesn’t appear to be working because the Tweets keep disappearing. That suggests to me that Twitter is watching this account and nuking anything that appears to come from Trump. So what next? Does he try the @FLOTUS account? Or start using government department Twitter accounts to air his grievances?

This is going to be a long 12 days for Twitter.

BREAKING: Michael Flynn, Ron Watkins & Sidney Powell Punted From Twitter

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 8, 2021 by itnerd

I have never been so busy on a Friday evening.

Twitter has banned Michael Flynn, Ron Watkins and Sidney Powell. All of whom are associated with President Donald Trump. Here’s why:

“The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity,” Twitter said in a statement to NBC News. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”

While it is a bit late to do this sort of thing, I’ll give Twitter some credit for doing this. Seeing as every 15 minutes Twitter punts someone else, expect more breaking news on this front.

BREAKING: Twitter Locks Trump’s Account For At Least 12 Hours

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 6, 2021 by itnerd

Twitter has finally decided to take action against the Twitter account belonging to President Donald Trump because of the violence that happened today, and which was largely instigated by Trump. Twitter explained this move in a series of Tweets:

Here’s the problem with this. Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been a source of hate and despicable behavior for years. Everybody knows this. But it took the events of today for Twitter to finally do the right thing and shut this clown down. While that’s better than Facebook who has never done anything about Trump, and it is true that Twitter has flagged many of Trump’s Tweets for some time now, Twitter could have and should have done more. We might not be here watching the violence that is unfolding in Washington D.C. had Twitter done something earlier. To be clear, I am not blaming Twitter for what has and is happening today. But they could have done far more and far sooner. And the net result might have been that we might not be talking about this violence now.

UPDATE: Trump has apparently deleted the Tweets that prompted this action from Twitter.

UPDATE #2: YouTube and Facebook have taken down videos related to this incident. In a related note, Trump may get his Twitter account back at any time. God help the planet when that happens.

Trump Escalates His Section 230 Rants By Threatening Defense Spending

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 3, 2020 by itnerd

Donald Trump must really hurting from #DiaperDon trending on Twitter as he’s now taken his Twitter rant and gone next level with it. He’s now serving up threats that if he doesn’t get his way by having congress repeal section 230, he’ll deprive the armed forces of funding:

President Donald Trump has long been an outspoken foe of big technology companies. And in recent months, he has focused his ire on Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields online platforms from liability for content posted by their users. In May, Trump called on the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret the law — though it’s not clear the agency has the power to do that. Since then, he has tweeted about the issue incessantly. On Tuesday evening, Trump ratcheted up his campaign against Section 230. In a tweet, he called the law “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity.” He warned that “if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.” 

The NDAA is a massive spending bill that Congress passes each year to authorize funding for the military. This year’s version, now under active discussion on Capitol Hill, is expected to cost around $740 billion. The NDAA is seen as a “must pass” bill because no one wants to be blamed for holding up funding for the troops. So inserting language into it can be a way to pass proposals that might not stand on their own. But there’s also a risk of a backlash — especially if a measure is seen as unrelated to the military. This may be why Trump has started claiming that Section 230 is a “threat to our national security,” since that would theoretically make it germane to a defense funding bill. Trump’s campaign to repeal Section 230 appears to go beyond mere tweets. The White House is reportedly telling members of Congress the same thing in private that the president is telling his 88 million Twitter followers: that he will veto the NDAA if it doesn’t repeal or at least overhaul Section 230.

You just have to shake your head at this as this sounds like something an 8 year old would do. Which is really sad. The fact is that I don’t see congress doing this, and as a result people in harms way may get hurt. And that’s simply wrong.

Oh well, at least he will go away on January 20th 2021 and hopefully never to return.

Trump Declares Twitter A National Security Threat After #DiaperDon Trends On Twitter…. WTF?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 27, 2020 by itnerd

President Donald Trump has officially jumped the shark now. I say that because he spent last night railing against Section 230, which is part of a law that allows tech companies to set their own rules about how they regulate content on their platforms. This because he was upset that #DiaperDon started to trend on Twitter because of a sometimes-tense news conference in which Trump snapped at the Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who asked the president whether he would concede if the Electoral College voted to officially make Joe Biden the winner of the US election, as it is scheduled to do on December 14.

Here’s a look at what #DiaperDon looks like on Twitter. It’s kind of funny actually.

You know, this guy has the thinnest orange skin I have ever seen. He clearly can’t take any criticism, and he lashes out in ways that lack any logic. Just because he doesn’t like a hashtag that is trending on Twitter doesn’t mean that social media is a national security threat.

But in all seriousness, bias in social media against Conservatives is a very common trope by Conservatives. And I would have one piece of advice for them seeing as any sort of bias against Conservatives seems not to be there. Crying wolf about censorship is a self-defeating strategy that will only make people not listen when it actually happens.

Hacker Claims To Have Pwned Donald Trump’s Twitter Account

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2020 by itnerd

A report from a Dutch newspaper has the story of a Hacker who claims to have pwned Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Apparently, the password was “maga2020!”:

The researcher, Victor Gevers, had access to Trump’s personal messages, could post tweets in his name and change his profile. Gevers took screenshots when he had access to Trump’s account. These screenshots were shared with de Volkskrant by the monthly opinion magazine Vrij Nederland. Dutch security experts find Gevers’ claim credible. The Dutchman alerted Trump and American government services to the security leak. After a few days, he was contacted by the American Secret Service in the Netherlands. This agency is also responsible for the security of the American President and took the report seriously, as evidenced by correspondence seen by de Volkskrant. Meanwhile Trump’s account has been made more secure. This is not the first time that Dutch hackers succeeded in taking over Donald Trump’s Twitter account. The first time was four years ago, just before the 2016 elections, when three hackers jointly managed to retrieve Trump’s password and access his account. That someone has now succeeded again, is remarkable. During the previous presidential elections Russian hackers attempted to influence the elections on a large scale. Subsequently, social media have taken various steps to prevent manipulation.

The dude who’s campaign slogan is MAGA, and is running for election in 2020… has a password of maga2020!

Like seriously? Worst password EVER.

Why isn’t someone in the Trump administration policing Trump’s internet usage? He clearly has the online sense of a nursing home resident. And he’s the most powerful man on Earth. At least for another fortnight one hopes.

Twitter for their part has said that they have no evidence to confirm the claim: 

And one would assume that Twitter would at a minimum have access to IP addresses of anyone who logged on. Having said that, they might not want to say that it did happen for their own reasons. Without more evidence, I’m reserving judgment if this is true, even if it would be really hilarious if true.

Feds Finger Second Teen Felon In Epic Twitter Hacker

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2020 by itnerd

The New York Times reports that the feds have targeted a 16-year-old from Massachusetts who allegedly played a significant role in the July Twitter hack:

On Tuesday, federal agents served the teenager with a search warrant and scoured the Massachusetts home where he lives with his parents, said one of the people involved in the operation. A spokesman for the F.B.I. confirmed a search warrant had been executed at the address.

The search warrant and other documents in the case are under seal, and federal agents may decide not to charge the youth with a crime. If he is ultimately arrested, the case is likely to be handed over to Massachusetts authorities, who have more leverage than federal prosecutors in charging minors as adults. (The New York Times is not naming the teenager at this point because of his age and because he has not been charged.)

It will be interesting to see if this teenager is responsible. And if he is, he’ll join the other two who are accused of this hack in the slammer on an a wanted poster.

BREAKING: Florida Teen Busted For Epic Twitter Hack [UPDATE: Three Charged]

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 31, 2020 by itnerd

Today is the day for breaking news. ABC News is reporting that a Florida teen has been arrested in relation to the epic Twitter hack from earlier this month:

The 17-year-old Tampa resident, who was arrested Friday, was hit with 30 felony charges in connection with the hack, according to Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren.

“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here,” Warren said in a statement. “This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.” 

The Florida teen was the “mastermind” of the hack, according to a statement from Warren’s office.

That kind of implies that other arrests are coming or perhaps have already been made. Either way, this is huge. Expect more news to come shortly.

UPDATE: Here’s more. A Justice Department release has three people charged in connection to this hack. We only know of one that was arrested (the 17 y/o) in Florida. So I have to assume that the other two are still outstanding.

BREAKING: Several High Profile Twitter Accounts Have Been Hijacked To Tweet Bitcoin Scams

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 15, 2020 by itnerd

Happening now is the apparent hijacking of numerous high profile Twitter accounts to promote Bitcoin scams including Apple’s Twitter account as well as the Twitter accounts of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, and others. Given the number of high profile accounts that have been breached, the hack may have originated from a Twitter security vulnerability or a security vulnerability of an app that speaks to Twitter like TweetDeck or Hootsuite or something of that sort. But that isn’t clear at present. But here is what is known at present:

It’s not immediately known how the account hacks took place. Security researchers, however, found that the attackers had fully taken over the victims’ accounts, and also changed the email address associated with the account to make it harder for the real user to regain access.

This is serious and it appears that Twitter is investigating and we should have more details soon. But this is likely a good reminder that you need to make sure that your Twitter accounts are secure so that you don’t become a victim of something like this. Twitter itself has some tips on this.

UPDATE: The list of people who have been pwned is growing:

UPDATE #2: Twitter has taken the step of stopping anyone with a verified account from tweeting:

I think this points towards a hack of Twitter at this point. Though I am open to hear alternative explanations for this incident.

UPDATE #3: Most verified Twitter accounts are now once again able to tweet. Twitter is still working on fully fixing the issue:

UPDATE #4: Jack Dorsey who is Twitter’s CEO has commented….. Via Twitter:

This pretty much confirms that Twitter got pwned.

Twitter Is “Strongly Encouraging” Employees To Work From Home Due To Covid-19

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 3, 2020 by itnerd

Twitter is “strongly encouraging” its almost 5,000 global employees to work from home due to concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the company said Monday.

The social media company made the suggestion as part of a blog update one day after it suspended all non-critical travel for workers, including pulling out of the South by Southwest conference scheduled for later this month in Austin, Texas. Twitter says it’s mandatory for employees in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea to work from home, but that other offices will remain open for those who choose or need to come in. “We are working to make sure internal meetings, all hands, and other important tasks are optimized for remote participation,” the company wrote on its blog. Twitter’s policy on working from home is a step beyond what most companies in the U.S. are doing as the virus spreads.

This is a sensible approach. But it will only work if companies have the tech in place to pull this off. I am talking about things like VPN access, virtual meeting software, and the like. And it will only work if users are trained on how these things work so that IT helpdesks are not flooded with calls from remote users that didn’t get the training that they need. Thus I would suggest that if you are a company that is considering something like this, you might want to start getting your ducks in a row so that there are no surprises once you roll it out.