Simon Pegg’s Twitter Account Hacked

Simon Pegg, described by Wikipedia as an English actor, comedian, writer, film producer and director, apparently got his Twitter account hacked earlier today. The hacker used his account to spread malware to his 1.2 million followers.

Simon Pegg Twitter Hacked

The tweet in question was sent via Twitter for Blackberry, and asked Pegg’s twitter followers to download a screensaver of his latest movie Paul. Thousands of his followers did and many even tweeted Thank youafter installing it. Those who had anti-virus protection installed however were informed of a Trojan horse being found in the ScreenSaver.exe file being linked to. Few hours later Simon posted few messages, indicating that his account was hacked and he did not post any message about a screensaver, and warning followers that they should not download the infectedscreensaver.

Simon Pegg Confirms Twitter Hack 1

Simon Pegg Confirms Twitter Hack 2

 

Being a Windows screensaver, the file is not believed to be malicious to anyone who is not using Microsoft’s Operating System. Jokingly however, Pegg did have this to say to Apple users:

Simon Pegg Jokes about Apple

He certainly is not the first celebrity to have his Twitter account hacked. Famous accounts like ih8sn0w and Bristol Palin accounts have been hacked in the past.

As always, we recommend you to be cautious while clicking on any suspicious link. WOT can be helpful in keeping you safe.

Twitter For BlackBerry Gets An Update; Brings Lighter Color Scheme

The Twitter app team at Research In Motion (RIM) recently released a new version of the Twitter for BlackBerry app. The new version is numbered 2.0.0.15 and it is currently available at BlackBerry Beta Zone in selected countries. The latest version of Twitter for BlackBerry comes with many changes such as lighter color scheme, new Compose Tweetbar, trending topics with local trends support and much more. Check out the complete changelog below.

twitter blackberry updated

Changelog:

  • Lighter color scheme consisting of light blue with a shade of white.
  • The Tweet composer is hidden by default, but it can be accessed from the new Compose Tweetbar located below the nav bar.
  • Trending Topics icon has been added to the nav bar.
  • Trending topics now includes local trends support.
  • Access your profile quickly and easily from the nav bar.
  • Performance enhancements to improve the overall usability of the app.

The Twitter app team at RIM will also include the multi-account support in the future release. You will need to register and become a BlackBerry Beta Zone member before downloading this update. BlackBerry Beta Zone is currently available only in selected countries. To download the latest version of Twitter for BlackBerry, head over to the BlackBerry Beta Zone.

Twitter: Old Twitter Ending ‘Very, Very Soon,’ Switch To New Twitter

Everyone’s favorite micro-blogging  based social network, Twitter, is apparently in the final days of their old interface design. If you happen to be using #oldTwitter, then you have probably seen the warning below, which tells you that it will be ending ‘very, very soon.’

Twitter Warns of Switch To New Twitter

It appears that Twitter is getting ready to push all of its users to its new interface design, which it calls #newTwitter. Most of the Twitter user base has been using New Twitter for almost a year without much trouble. However, there are a loyal few who are outraged by Twitter’s attempt to push them into using the new design.

New Twitter Complaints

As you can see from the Tweets in the screen capture above, these Old Twitter loyalists are pretty dedicated. The question now is whether or not they will actually do anything in response to the switch. I find it hard to believe that any of them will leave Twitter because of the switch.

The transition to New Twitter doesn’t bother me. I have been using various Twitter clients for so long that I didn’t even know there was a #newTwitter until months after its release. I find that managing my accounts and lists in TweetDeck better suites my personal use.

What are your thoughts on #newTwitter? Are you a die hard fan of #oldTwitter? Are you like me, and use a  separate  Twitter client? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Twidroyd Updated To Version 6.0; Adds Customizable UberBar

Twidroyd, the popular Twitter client for Android smartphones has been recently updated to version 6.0. According to its developer UberMedia, the latest version of Twidroyd is the “biggest release ever”. It comes with some great features such as fully customizable UberBar, verified user icon, more font size options and so on. Check out the complete chnagelog below.

twidroyd

Changelog:

  • navigate in twidroyd with the awesome and fully customizable UberBar (w00t!)
  • new login method to support twitter’s web based oAuth workflow
  • (awesome) app Icon
  • option to show exact timestamp
  • verified user icon
  • when replying to a retweet, compose window will be prefilled with the user name of the person who retweeted
  • ask before discarding a tweet
  • added indicator bubble for outbox
  • auto-shorten option for tweets > 140 chars (off by default)
  • more font size options
  • selectable locations for trending topics
  • TMI.me viewer for search results
  • send, attach and shorten button to the top of the compose screen
  • t.co support
  • back button history for tabs
  • image view, comments, votes for lockerz.com images
  • native retweets included in list of tweets in profile view
  • insert username/hashtag at cursor position
  • fix: app crash when attempting to mute hash tags that have been extracted from timeline
  • fix: @mention at cursor position

To download the latest version of Twidroyd on your Android smartphone, just go to the Android Market and search for “Twidroyd” or head over to this page.

So You Thought Twitter DM’s Are Completely Private?

twitter-dmUnlike mentions, Twitter DM’s are completely private in nature and are accessible only to you and the receiver to whom you are sending the Direct message. So it’s safe to assume that Twitter DM’s are not accessible to any third party apps, which has been proved wrong by a demo Twitter app.

The fact: Some Twitter apps can access your mentions, timeline, following list and direct messages without any prior permission as such.

Ok, so where is the proof and which app we are talking here?

If you are really curious and want to see the results hands on, go to the Royal test application page, sign in with your Twitter account, grant all the necessary permissions and let the app rip off your entire history of direct messages in less than a minute. It would be wise to first create a dummy Twitter account, send a few test DM’s and then sign in with this dummy account to check whether the app can access those messages.

I tested the app with my own Twitter account and was surprised to see the app produced the entire history of all direct messages I have sent and received, since the day I created my Twitter account. Here are the results:

send-message

And here is the list of direct messages I have received on my Twitter account:

received-message

Another  important  thing to note here is that although I had deleted a lot of messages from my Twitter inbox, those deleted messages reappeared once I used the app. Same goes to all received messages !

If you think this is not possible at all, we have a 1 minute hands on video which shows how this app can completely fetch your DM’s:

The app authorization screen clearly states that this app won’t be able to access your Twitter DM’s. Not to forget the fact that Twitter recently changed their oauth authorization screen and added more explicit details on the data which an application can access, once you start using it.

app-permissions

Robin Wauters from Techcrunch writes

Twitter recently updated its OAuth screens, which are supposed to give users greater transparency about the level of access third-party applications have to their accounts. What has happened is that the new authentication model   was supposed to go live on June 1st, but they postponed it to the end of June without fully realizing that the new UI for the OAuth permission screens would already be live.

As it turns out, this is a flaw in the oauth authorization screen upgrade which was scheduled for June 1st. The upgrade has been postponed till June 30th so don’t authorize any suspicious third party app whose oauth authorization page claims that they can’t access your Twitter direct messages.

If you have a lot of confidential data and important messages saved on your Twitter account, you should be really careful and double check your application settings from Twitter > Settings > Applications.

P.S: Previously we did another video discussing the vulnerabilities of Gmail, Twitter and Facebook over an https connection.

Twitter’s Own Photo Sharing Feature Rolls Out For Selected Users: It’s Pic.Twitter.com And Not Twimg.com

The earlier week we reported that Twitter will soon launch it’s own photo sharing service. Looking at the recent tweets of a suspicious demo Twitter account, it appeared that Twimg.com (which is owned by Twitter) might be the website where all the photos will be stored.

If you have missed the earlier article, here is an example Tweet where the URL of a photo uploaded on Twimg.com is clearly visible:

Fact of the matter is – I was partially wrong and partially right. You will soon know why.

It’s not Twimg.com but pic.twitter.com which is supposed to be the URL of Twitter’s upcoming photo sharing service. Twitter has partnered with Photobucket for storing all the photos, but users won’t necessarily require a Photobucket account to upload photos from Twitter’s web interface, once it’s live.

Twitter has started rolling out it’s photo sharing feature among a small subset of users, including Twitter employees who can currently use Twitter’s web interface to upload photos. Alexia Tsotsis of Techcrunch tweeted a few minutes ago that she is one of the few lucky users who has access to this feature.

twitter-photo-sharing

From the above screenshot, it appears that the image is stored at pic.twitter.com/picture-ID but the link redirects to a subdirectory of the user’s Twitter profile URL. In this case, clicking the link takes you to http://twitter.com/#!/user/status/XXXXXXXXXXXX/photo/Photo-ID, while the actual photo link is shortened using Twitter’s own URL shortener t.co.

Copying the image URL reveals that the photo is stored over a subdomain of Twimg.com see example (publicly viewable).

Actually, it’s quite logical to give Twitter photos a new URL, so that your followers instantly know that it’s a photo and not an external link. The image is stored at Twimg.com but the shortened URL of the image is masked under pic.twitter.com.

Here is how Twitter’s web interface will look, once it’s activated globally for all users.

twitter-photo-sharing-service1

Photos uploaded from Twitter’s web interface won’t be public and can’t be viewed by anyone who does not follow the user. But the image URL is publicly viewable, of course. So if one of your followers copies the Image URL (not the link) and shares it, anyone can view it.

Honestly, I am not very happy with Twitter’s new photo sharing service. They never experimented with new features for three years but encouraged developers to build apps and services around Twitter’s API. Suddenly, they produce their own version of these apps, completely copying their features and user behavior. URL shortener, desktop client, Tweet button, photo sharing, location…and I am sure many more will be added to the list in the coming days.

It’s like encouraging power users to be creative, develop the ecosystem and once it’s a hit, hammer it down with your own copy. Why not promote these wonderful apps by incorporating itself on Twitter.com? Or sign a deal or something so that the result does not hurt each others business, branding and the legal aspects. Instead, Twitter wants to kill all the apps which helped it grow in the first place.

To the Twitpics, Yfrog’s and other photo sharing apps:   you should have learned your lesson when Twitter launched it’s Tweet button and killed Tweetmeme.

How To Protect Facebook, Twitter From FaceNiff Hack

Few days back I wrote an article about FaceNiff, an Android app that lets users access web sessions profiles over Wi-Fi networks and hijack your connected Facebook or Twitter account. If your connection is unsecured, then anyone using FacNiff can easily deflect your data or steal your information.

How to protect your accounts from FaceNiff?

Here’s a tip you can follow. In order to protect your Facebook and Twitter accounts from being hijacked, always browse using a https connection.

FaceNiff, however, cannot hijack accounts that use https browsing. HTTPS encrypts the data sent and received with SSL, thus making it impossible to access your account.

By default, Facebook’s and Twitter’s https browsing is disabled. You must enable it manually from it’s settings page.

Facebook: Go to Account Settings and scroll down to Manage Account Security. Enable secure browsing by ticking it and save the settings.

Facebook HTTPS

Twitter: Go to Settings page and scroll down to enable https browsing. You’ll be prompted to re-enter your password to save the settings.

Twitter HTTPS

That’s all!

France Bans Facebook, Twitter (Just Names)

France has banned the names of social networking giants, Facebook and Twitter from being spoken on TV or radio, unless the terms are part of a news story. This stops the anchors from asking their audience to “follow us on Twitter” or “check out our Facebook page”

A spokesperson for France’s Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), explains:

Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition. This would be a distortion of competition. If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box– other social networks will complain to us saying, ‘why not us?’

French government decree issued on March 27 1992 states that, promotion of commercial enterprise on new programs is forbidden.

Weeping French Man
British-Canadian journalist, Mathew Fraser points that this type of regulation is absurd, especially when Facebook and Twitter have become a part of everyday life.

What possibly could have possessed the French regulator to impose such a ridiculous rule is not entirely clear — at least when the test of common sense is applied. Perhaps the officials inside France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel don’t quite grasp that television and radio shows around the world now routinely urge their audiences to connect and follow events via online social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook and Twitter are, of course, American social networks. In France, they are regarded, at least implicitly, as symbols of Anglo-Saxon global dominance — along with Apple, MTV, McDonald’s, Hollywood, Disneyland, and other cultural juggernauts.

[via] [Image]

Disable Twitter Email Alerts for Replies/Mentions, Retweets and Favorites

A few days ago, I was hit with a flood with emails in my inbox from saying that someone had mentioned me in a tweet and some which said that my tweet had been marked as a favorite by someone.

Now, I was surprised since the only emails I used to receive prior to this was for direct messages (I have them on to search direct messages on Twitter and archive them). I checked around and saw that it was because Twitter had turned on some new email alerts for me without me explicitly telling them to do it.

If you have been hit with lots of email messages from Twitter recently, you can disable the Twitter email alerts for replies, mentions and favorites by visiting your Twitter profile.

To do that, go to your Twitter profile page and click on the "Edit your profile" link. On the profile page click on the "Notifications" tab. You can also visit this link (https://twitter.com/settings/notifications) directly in  your browser.

Disable Twitter Alert Emails

You can uncheck the boxes next to the notifications you do not require. Once you do that Twitter will stop sending you email alerts. The new email alerts system might be useful for some people, but I feel that Twitter should have kept these options as opt-in rather than opt-out by default.

Twitter’s New Photo Sharing Feature Powered By Photobucket

It was expected that Twitter would launch its own photo sharing service, but surprisingly, Twitter has teamed up with Photobucket and have launched the new service. The service will allow users to upload and attach photos to Tweets directly from Twitter.com and its mobile apps.

Photobucket Corporation, the world’s leading dedicated photo and video sharing service, today announced that Photobucket will power Twitter’s native photo sharing capabilities allowing users to easily upload and share photos directly in Tweets. This partnership reflects the synergy between the companies’ growth strategies and audience needs, delivering a simple, intuitive user experience for photo sharing.

Twitter photo sharing with Photobucket

All photos uploaded, will be tagged “powered by Photobucket”, and will link to a page that allows users to create new accounts or sign in to their Photobucket accounts via Twitter.

Twitter also announced its new version of Twitter search. The updated version will not only deliver more relevant Tweets and trending topics, but related photos and videos as well.

Additionally, if you’re a Firefox user, then you can type a #hastag or @username into the address bar to go to Twitter’s search results page.

Press Release