recommended reading

An Innocent Bot May Have Unwittingly Spread a Virus Around Twitter

Mega Pixel/Shutterstock.com

Less than an hour after it was posted, this tweet had been retweeted by over 36,000 people.

The tweet contains a malicious piece of code that affects users of Tweetdeck, a service available in an app or browser that provides an interface with Twitter that juxtaposes multiple streams at the same time. When confronted by this tweet, the Tweetdeck browser version will unwittingly retweet it, spreading it further. Users may also be at risk of having their login details stolen. (Alex Hern of the Guardian has a great explanation here.)

That’s bad enough. But Twitter may be lending the tweet a helping hand through an experimental service called Magic Recs. The account was set up to algorithmically inform users about what their Twitter list is doing, whether that is following a new account in droves, retweeting the same thing, or using a particular hashtag. If lots of people you follow are talking about something, Magics Recs figures, surely you would be interested in it too.

That’s great in theory. But it also means that something like the tweet above, which is being retweeted indiscriminately, fools Magic Recs into recommending it to others, thereby spreading the contagion.

(Image via Mega Pixel/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion

Florida’s Concealed Carry Permit Holders Names Exposed

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.