It has been announced by the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday that seven of the security vulnerabilities had been addressed by Twitter which had allowed the hackers to gain access to many of the accounts during the previous year. The accounts to which hackers got access also included that of then-candidate Barack Obama. The agreement has ended the probe which could lead to the fines of almost $16,000 for one infraction, if Twitter would be disobeying the resulting consent order. Along with the security vulnerabilities, it is also claimed by FTC that Twitter has also misled the users with the help of making promises to them that their accounts had been secure when actually they were not. However, all seven of the security vulnerabilities have been shored up by Twitter to the satisfaction of feds and has also said that it had solved most of the problems just after the accounts had been breached during the months of January and April in the year 2009.
David Vladeck’s comment
The director for the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection David Vladeck has said in one statement that when a promise is made by any company with the consumers that it would be securing their personal information then it must live up to that promise. He further said that although the consumers using the social networking web sites can share some of their information with other users yet they still have a right that their personal information would be kept private as well as secure.
The decision is most likely to be finalized as a consent order after a pro forma period of 30 days for the public comment.
Problems with Twitter accounts
During the month of January in 2009, a hacker was able to guess the administrative password which was all in lowercase which was actually a word. With the help of this password he could gain access to many of the accounts of Twitter which also included that of Barack Obama. The passwords of those accounts were reset by him and also posted some of the new passwords over online. Nine accounts, out of all those hacked accounts, were used for sending the messages. For example, the Twitter followers of Barack Obama had received an offer for an amount of $500 for free gasoline. According to FTC, the account of Fox News was also used for sending at least one of the fraudulent messages.
It has been said by FTC that some of the changes had to be made by the social network in order to get the clean bill of health security wise. It had to ask the employees for using such administrative passwords that are hard to guess and should not be used for other programs or websites. FTC also prohibited the employees from storing their passwords in the form of the plain text in their email accounts or suspending or disabling their passwords after some reasonable amount of the unsuccessful logins. It also said that period changes to the administrative passwords should be done in order to ensure security.