Big Scandals with Twitter Leaks
While Elon Musk is dealing with the management staff of Twitter after its proposed purchase, we’ve decided to recall the most discussed scandals related to the Twitter leaks.
Of course, Musk’s team probably prepared such a report for him. Why don’t we take a look at what Musk is actually buying — a promising social network or problems on his head?
What’s happening in 2022? Read our news digest here.
Why didn’t the Twitter purchase happen?
First of all, Twitter accused the American billionaire innovator Elon Musk of disclosing confidential information. Earlier, Musk suspended a deal to buy Twitter for more than $44 billion. The reason was the need to check the social network for the number of fake accounts. After that, Musk announced that he would check 100 random accounts. This was the reason for Twitter’s discontent.
*Fake accounts are fake profiles of real people or companies that are created for cheating subscribers, spam, or fraud.
Such an account doesn’t need to be managed by a real person. Now there are whole botnets that automatically send messages or subscribe to other users’ accounts. Elon Musk wants to check how many of them are on Twitter because if there are a lot of such accounts on a social network, it becomes much less attractive to advertisers and investors.
The figure of 100 accounts against the background of 330 million active Twitter users per month does not look like a very indicative sample. Of course, it is quite possible that Musk hopes to find, for example, 30 fake accounts in this hundred, and then declare that since there are so many fakes on Twitter, the price of $44 billion is overstated. Or even abandon the deal altogether.
At the same time, according to the agreement between Musk and Twitter, if one of the parties refuses the deal, it will be obliged to pay the other $1 billion in compensation.
Elon Musk is working on various things at the same time. Learn more about his latest idea here.
Or maybe everything is much simpler and Elon realized that he would have to work hard on Twitter’s security system.
Big Twitter leaks cases
#1 Data leaks of celebrities
In July 2020, the accounts of celebrities such as Bill Gates, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and many others were attacked, as well as several companies, including Apple and Uber. Attackers on behalf of famous US personalities called for sending Bitcoins to a crypto wallet which was indicated in the post, and they promised to return each transfer in double the amount. Previously, only individual accounts were hacked on Twitter, for example, Donald Trump in 2015 and even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019.
As a result, in 2020, a cyberattack was carried out on more than 50 verified accounts, in the first hours the scammers managed to get more than $110,000.
Read about Twitter fake brand trick here.
#2 Data leaks of 200 million users
In 2020, the Twitter data leak occurred due to the incorrect configuration of Elasticsearch servers.
The data is parsing of social network profiles and contains only the information that users have left about themselves. In the case of Twitter, 44,028,450 profiles were found, and with Weibo, 164,575,053 profiles were found. Storage of the collected data is provided by a cluster of 21 servers. Currently, data collection and updating on the server continues.
It is reported that the data leak occurred due to an incorrect configuration of Elasticsearch servers owned by the Chinese company CYYUN.
This is not the first major leak of social media user data. Earlier, Comparitech specialists discovered an unsecured database on the Network containing about 235 million user profiles of Instagram, TikTok and YouTube services. The data array contained information extracted from public profiles, including logins, full usernames, contact information, images, statistics on the number of subscribers, age, gender, etc.
#3 Data leaks of iOS users
In 2019, Twitter acknowledged an error, as a result of which some user data was transferred to one of the advertisers.
The leak affected iOS users who have multiple Twitter accounts. If the location detection function was enabled in at least one of them, then the advertiser could receive the corresponding data in all accounts.
At the same time, Twitter management assured that the partner company did not have access to the personal data of users of the social network.
Twitter reported that the location data is now “blurred.” “So they are no more detailed than a postal code or a city, and it is impossible to determine the exact address or movement of the user from them,” the company said in a statement. The error itself has been fixed.
#4 Data leaks of Android users
In 2020, Twitter informed us about the presence of a problem that could allow hackers to access the personal Twitter data of some Android users, including messages.
However, there is no exact data on exploiting the vulnerability. Therefore, it is not known whether the security problem was hacked by intruders. In addition, the developers advised updating Twitter’s Android application so that other applications could not access its data.
Twitter said: “We recently discovered and fixed a vulnerability on Twitter for Android related to a major Android OS security issue affecting OS versions 8 and 9. As far as we understand, 96 percent of people using Twitter for Android have already installed an Android security patch that protects them from this vulnerability.”
“For the remaining 4 percent, this vulnerability could allow an attacker through a malicious application installed on your device to gain access to personal Twitter data on your device (for example, direct messages), bypassing the Android system permissions that protect against this.”
#5 Big data leak on Twitter
In 2019, Twitter reported a data leak on the social network.
If a user viewed an ad from a mobile device and then used the Twitter app, the social network could share some data (for example, the country code and information about the ad) with advertising partners and measurement systems, even if the user did not permit to do so.
Starting in September 2018, Twitter could show ads to users based on data about the device used, even if the user did not permit to process such information.
The received data remained inside the social network and were not disclosed to third parties.
Both problems were resolved on August 5, 2019. The social network apologizes for what happened.
Do you want to download all your data from the internet? Learn more about how to do it here.