Popular Twitter App Gets Hacked

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Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014 4:56 pm

Written by Alex Cordero

Wednesday users of the popular application for Twitter known as Tweetdeck were treated to a mess of random pop-up messages. According to USA TODAY, Twitter attempted to stop the security issue on Tweetdeck by inputting a code fix that was supposed to stop the problem. That didn’t work as planned.

Soon after, Tweetdeck was taken down for over an hour to re-attempt the fix; tweeting out: "We've temporarily taken TweetDeck services down to assess today's earlier security issue. We'll update when services are back up." ABC News reports that several major news outlets on Twitter were affected by the intrusion, including @NYTimes, @CBCNews and @BBCBreaking.

The hole caused by the security issue allowed hackers to spread potentially dangerous computer script into a tweet. A variety of random pop-up messages popped up throughout, holding messages such as, “XSS in Tweetdeck” or “Yo!” according to the website Verge. In an interview with USA TODAY, security expert Trey Ford from Boston security firm Rapid7 described XSS as cross site scripting and the attack occurs by simply seeing the malicious tweet on the application. Once inside the app, the code could spread by re-tweeting itself to other accounts.

Originally, the hole was believed to only affect the desktop program of Tweetdeck run by Google Chrome, but users on Internet Explorer 9 are also reporting the issue.

Released six years ago, Tweetdeck was the first third-party app for Twitter that became popular with Twitter users. In 2011, Twitter bought Tweetdeck for nearly $40 million.

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