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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Twitter, twitter bots, twitter scam,   

    Twitter bots are scamming PayPal and Venmo users 

    Twitter bots are scamming PayPal and Venmo users

    By Greg Collier

    We didn’t intend to write three stories in a row about payment app scams, yet here we are. Apps like PayPal and Venmo have become so common, it’s almost expected for scammers to try and weasel their way into our electronic wallets. We have documented quite a number of scams that involve not only PayPal and Venmo, but Cash App, Zelle, and other platforms as well. Those scams usually involve some kind of fraudulent transaction, but it seems at least one group of scammers have stepped up their game when it comes to finding new targets.

    Scammers have recently set up bots to look for any mention of the names PayPal or Venmo. For example, if someone were to ask another person on Twitter if they had a PayPal, so they could pay them for an item or support a content creator for example, the bot picks up on that mention. What happens next borders on evil genius territory.

    The bot will then make an almost duplicate Twitter account of the person being asked if they have PayPal. They’ll block the account they’ve cloned, then respond to the person who asked about their PayPal account with a link that goes to the scammers account. So the person who is supposed to be receiving the money doesn’t even see the fake account responding to the person who asked them about their PayPal account. In a normal Twitter conversation, it would go something like this.

    Person 1: Hey, I like your content. Do you have a PayPal?

    Impersonated Account: I sure do. (With attached link to scammer’s PayPal)

    Meanwhile, Person 2 never sees the impersonated account respond, and loses out on a sale or support.

    If you feel the need to discuss someone’s PayPal or Venmo account with them on social media, make sure to do it through private messages and not in a way where everyone can see it. Also, if you’re someone who solicits donations for their work through PayPal, it’s best not to list your PayPal details in your public profile as bots could be targeting you.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Twitter   

    Twitter hacked in major cryptocurrency scam 

    Twitter hacked in major cryptocurrency scam

    Yesterday, the accounts of some very high profile individuals were compromised in a cryptocurrency scam. Some of the names who had their Twitter accounts hacked include Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Apple Computers just to name a few. As of the time of writing this post, it’s unknown how so many Twitter accounts belonging to so many celebrities and business magnates were hijacked.

    The phony tweets from the hijacked accounts promised that people could double their Bitcoin value if they just send it to a designated Bitcoin wallet. Many of the Tweets said that the poster was feeling generous and wanted to double people’s Bitcoin in support of COVID-19 efforts. By the time the bogus tweets were caught, scammers were able to collect at least $100,000 in cryptocurrency.

    While the level of complexity of this scam in unprecedented, the scam itself is not a new one. Crypto-scammers will often post links on social media promising to increase the value of someone’s cryptocurrency if they just send it to the person making the post. In reality, the scammer just takes the person’s cryptocurrency and disappears into the ether.

    You don’t even have to be a cryptocurrency speculator to fall for a very similar scam. If you’ve ever seen the hashtag #CashAppFridays you may know what we’re talking about.

    When the Cash App has one of its weekly giveaways, a number of scammers will use the hashtag with promises of giving people $500 if they give them $50 through Cash App. This is what’s called cash flipping and the Cash App users often find themselves out of the money they gave the scammer.

    These scams are akin to handing your money to a stranger on the street who promised you $50 for $5. Even if they claim to be financial giants like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, no one is giving away free money to random people on the internet. While many of the people hacked in this scam may be philanthropists, their donations generally go to charities and non-profits and not to random Twitter followers.

    (H/T: TechCrunch)

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Twitter,   

    Twitter leaks phone numbers to advertisers 

    Twitter leaks phone numbers to advertisers

    We’ve mentioned two-factor authentication, or 2FA as it’s known, a few times lately. It’s the security protocol that has two or more layers of authentication that better secures your online accounts. The most common form of 2FA is through text messaging. For example, if you have 2FA enabled, when you sign in to an online account not only would you have to provide your password but you’d also have to provide a code that had been texted to you. While authentication sent through SMS texts isn’t the most secure form of 2FA it is better than nothing. However, thanks to so many platforms using SMS texting for 2FA it has led one platform to issue an apology recently.

    Twitter recently announced phone numbers that users had registered with them for two-factor authentication were used for targeted advertising. The numbers were used to match users to marketing lists provided by advertisers. In some people’s eyes, that goes against everything that 2FA is supposed to stand for. One security expert even compared Twitter’s practice to that of trying to secure a tent against bears by using raw meat.

    Like we said, While SMS text messages are the most common form of 2FA, they’re not the most secure. There are alternatives that you can use that are more secure. There are hardware keys that act as authenticators that can be used on both computers and mobile devices. There are also software alternatives that are free, that create something along the lines of a temporary secondary password that can be used for the second layer of authentication. This way, you won’t have to worry about even more robocalls from advertisers and other bad actors from plaguing your phone.

  • Geebo 10:51 am on December 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Twitter   

    Twitter CEO apologizes for Myanmar tweet…sort of 

    Twitter CEO apologizes for Myanmar tweet...sort of

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

    This past Monday we posted about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s tweet about his visit to the controversial country of Myanmar. For those of you who may not know, The UN has accused Myanmar of committing genocide and ethnic cleansing by persecuting the Rohingya Muslim minority in the largely Buddhist country. Mr. Dorsey had tweeted a glowing review about his meditative retreat that he took in Myanmar which seemed largely tone-deaf to the plight of the Rohingya. Mr. Dorsey has finally responded to the criticism against him and frankly, it’s not that much better.

    In response to the criticism, Mr. Dorsey tweeted out the following…

    Then added to that, stating that his trip to Myanmar was “purely personal” and had focused only on his meditation practice.

    In a word, one could interpret Dorsey’s latest statement as he knew what was going on in Myanmar but decided that his meditative retreat was more important than the plight of the people who have been referred to as the most persecuted people in the world today. It’s almost tantamount to saying that while it’s a shame that North Korea violently oppresses its people the shows they put on are great.

    This is just one of the many examples of why Silicon Valley CEOs are not seen as trustworthy by the American public. Instead of being attuned to the plight of the people around them, many of them are more interested in having indulgent experiences while awash with venture capital. Maybe we’d all be better off if some of that capital was used for more philanthropic endeavors rather than helping to prop up governments that are killing their own people.

  • Geebo 10:03 am on December 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Twitter   

    Twitter CEO in hot water for promoting Myanmar 

    Twitter CEO in hot water for promoting Myanmar

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

    We’ve posted about the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar many times before. In a nutshell, the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country formerly known as Burma have been persecuted by the Buddhist majority in Myanmar resulting in UN accusations of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Myanmar government. Previously, Facebook has faced global backlash since it’s been their platform which has been used to spread the ethnic violence throughout the country along with Facebook’s inaction to do anything meaningful to help quell the violence. While Twitter hasn’t been seen as nearly as complicit as Facebook in the ongoing crisis, Twitter now finds itself embroiled in its own Myanmar controversy.

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has found himself facing an enormous backlash after posting what could only be called a glowing review of his recent trip to Myanmar. On his own personal Twitter account, Dorsey posted what has been called a tone-deaf tweet about his visit there remarking that “The people are full of joy and the food is amazing,” while discussing his meditative retreat in the northern part of Myanmar. The Rohingya crisis has been largely taking place in the southern region of the country which has been seen as the ancestral lands of the Rohingya. Close to a million Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh trying to escape the state-sponsored violence against them. Meanwhile, Dorsey has posted a tweet that is essentially a tourism ad for a country with an abysmal human rights record.

    While not an official endorsement of Myanmar’s atrocities, Dorsey’s tweet does come off as being elitist and woefully out of touch. It’s hard to imagine that Mr. Dorsey was unaware of the plight of the Rohingya with as much criticism as his main competitor has been receiving in the world stage for the better part of a year. So what compelled Dorsey to not only visit the country like it was a family trip to Disneyland but also make that tweet like it was a 5-star Yelp review of the country? So far no one knows as Dorsey has yet to comment on the matter. Is this just another case of the Silicon Valley elite being out of touch with what’s happening outside of their own social status bubbles? While it sure seems that way one has to wonder if something even more disheartening is going on underneath the surface.

  • Geebo 10:06 am on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alphabet, , , , , Twitter   

    Facebook, Twitter, and Google to be called before Congress again 

    Facebook, Twitter, and Google to be called before Congress again

    Not too long ago, tech giants Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, were called to testify before Congress about their alleged roles in foreign meddling of the 2016 Presidential Election. Now those same companies are being asked to return to Washington to testify about their part in the dissemination of extremist propaganda. If you’ll recall, the tech companies did not do themselves any favors in their testimony over the Russian backed ads from the election.

    At that time, we asked if the CEOs of each respective company were afraid to appear before Congress themselves. It may appear that the answer to that question is yes, they are scared. Once again, instead of Larry Page, Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg testifying before congress about their platforms we’ll instead have the heads of each company’s public policy department. Even though they have the records of the disastrous performance of their companies’ last representatives, I doubt this new crop of underlings will fare any better.

    This also comes on the heels of Mark Zuckerberg himself stating that Facebook is ‘broken’ in his pledge to fix the platform. If he’s aware of the problems that have befallen his ubiquitous network then why is he uncomfortable to appear before Congress to make these same promises? As the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thee companies indeed have absolute power over most of our daily lives. To not be completely transparent shows that they probably have many things to hide.

  • Geebo 8:57 am on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Colin Stretch, , , , , , Twitter   

    Are cowardly CEOs afraid to face Congress over Russia probe? 

    Are cowardly CEOs afraid to face Congress over Russia probe?

    Not pictured: Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Page

    This week, Congress continued its probe into alleged Russian influencers purchasing ads on the internet’s three top platforms, Facebook, Google and Twitter. Rather than appearing themselves, the CEOs of each company sent their legal counsel in their stead. Yes, that’s not unheard of for businesses to send their legal representatives to Congress, but we’re talking about these companies taking money from foreign entities that might have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.

    While Congress by and large can be tech-illiterate, at least one Senator seemed to hammer the point home that these companies probably knew who they were taking money from. Minnesota Senator Al Franken showed everyone just how unwilling these companies are to divulge the truth.

    Senator Franken put forth a poignant argument to Facebook’s legal Counsel, Colin Stretch…

    “People are buying ads on your platform with roubles. They’re political ads. You put billions of data points together all the time. That’s what I hear that these platforms do: they’re the most sophisticated things invented by man, ever. Google has all knowledge that man has ever developed. You can’t put together roubles with a political ad and go hmm, those two data points spell out something bad?”

    Stretch replied: “Senator, it’s a signal we should have been alert to and in hindsight–”

    But Franken cut him off, asking whether Facebook would pledge not to publish a political ad paid for in North Korean won. As Stretch demurred, Franken interjected fiercely: “Please answer yes or no, sir. You’re sophisticated. You’re the chief legal counsel for Facebook. Please answer yes or no.”

    Of course, Senator Franken did not get a straight answer out of Stretch. Instead the counselor hemmed and hawed his way through a non-committal answer.

    However, the question remains, why weren’t the CEOs there to answer questions directly? What exactly are they afraid of? Perjury perhaps? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t comment on the hearings until the day after Stretch’s testimony on an earnings call.

    “I’m dead serious,” Zuckerberg said. “I’ve directed our team to invest so much in security on top of the other investments we’re making it will significantly impact our profitability going forward.” That investment will include hiring at least 10,000 new employees to focus on security and enforcement. CFO David Wehner later clarified that many of those new jobs won’t be full time but rather contract positions at partner companies.

    “Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits,” Zuckerberg said.

    Which doesn’t address the problem at hand at all. Zuckerberg was then said to have handed off the remainder of the call to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

    Facebook was the biggest offender in this story having served up alleged Russian ads to at least 125 million American users. Considering the entire population of the US is 323 million, that’s not a small percentage of potential voters who saw these misleading ads. That’s more than enough people to sway an election one way or the other. If protecting the community is more important than profits, why take the foreign money at all for American political ads? Facebook can claim hindsight is 20/20 all they want, but there were accusations of Russian political meddling even before these ads appeared on Facebook. So how could accepting Russian currency for American political ads not throw up a red flag?

    If you don’t think the CEOs of this company aren’t cowards, please think of this for a moment. Even Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer eventually appeared before Congress. So when the CEO of a company that reportedly makes money from the sexual slave trade in this country appears before Congress and these other CEOs don’t, it goes a long way in showing just how scared of Congress they probably are.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bloomberg, , Twitter   

    Twitter strikes deal with Bloomberg to provide real news 

    Twitter strikes deal with Bloomberg to provide real news

    Limited character count social network Twitter, announced yesterday they were entering into a partnership with one of the more trusted news organizations in the business. On Monday, at an event for advertisers, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey detailed plans for them to host a 24 hour live news stream produced by Bloomberg.

    Dorsey was quoted as saying…

    “We want to be the first place that anyone hears of anything that’s going on that matters to them, the first place where people hear of what matters. That is our focus, and that is what we will work so hard to deliver.”

    This is a great move for Twitter. Not only is Twitter usually the first place a lot of people go worldwide for details on breaking stories, now it could be the first place where a lot of these stories are confirmed. This is in direct contrast to what Facebook is doing by relying on themselves and users to try and combat the modern scourge that is fake news.

    Outside of the Bloomberg news stream, Twitter will also be entering into other entertainment streams as well. This could be beneficial for the financially questionable platform as the streams will be ad supported. In its history, Twitter has always had the spectre of profitability hanging over its head. Not only could this push Twitter past Facebook in legitimacy, but it could also bring them to new levels of financial stability.

  • Geebo 8:58 am on April 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: egg, , Mastodon, Twitter   

    By dropping the egg, Twitter claims to combat harassment 

    By dropping the egg, Twitter claims to combat harassment

    Twitter recently announced that they were dropping the default egg avatar for new users, and replacing it with a generic silhouette. They say that the new avatar is a more pleasing aesthetic, but they also claim that it will curb harassment and bullying by trolls and anonymous users.

    In recent months, the Twitter egg has come to symbolize the hordes of anonymous users who sign up for multiple accounts used solely for the purpose of harassing others. One such infamous incident is when Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones was harassed by racist and misogynist Twitter users who were using scores of anonymous accounts with the egg avatar. To put it bluntly, if Twitter thinks that by changing the default avatar from one generic one to another is going to curb harassment, it’s obvious that they are greatly mistaken. The trolls and their ilk will continue to just use the default avatar whether it’s an egg or a shadow because they’ll put minimal effort into opening new accounts used only for harassment.

    Since Twitter has largely failed to do anything about its harassment problem a different social network has seen a spike in users, possibly due to their policies that distance themselves from Twitter in this aspect. Mastodon has implemented a policy that specifically bans those who espouse the views of Nazis. Since the open-source service is based in Germany, German law specifically bans Nazi iconography and Holocaust denial. Mastodon has also implemented other features that are designed to discourage harassment by offering better privacy controls among other options.

    Is Mastodon or any other Twitter clone on the precipice of taking over the social network market? Not really. However, if Twitter continues to descend into a quagmire of persecution without any intervention on Twitter’s behalf, then its userbase could splinter off into other avenues, leaving it a more recent equivalent of MySpace.

  • Geebo 11:55 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Twitter, Vine   

    Will we see a world without Twitter? 

    Will we see a world without Twitter?

    When Twitter first started it was the hit of SXSW but only embraced by the technorati. It wasn’t until it was touted by users like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey when it absolutely exploded into mainstream society. Since that time it’s been almost a necessity when it comes to breaking news and has even played a historical part in the Arab Spring. You would think that playing such a pivotal role in the media Twitter would be around forever, unfortunately it’s starting to look like the beginning of the end for Twitter.

    Yesterday, Twitter announced that they will be shuttering the 6 second video app Vine. Since the dawn of Snapchat you would think that Vine would be obsolete but it’s closing shows just yet another step in the downfall of Twitter.

    Not only has Twitter announced that they will be laying off 9 percent of its workforce, but they also shopped themselves around to companies like Disney and came away with no takers. All of these combined could make Twitter one of those memories we fondly look forward back to like a Rubik’s Cube or a pet rock. However, if Twitter were to go under it wouldn’t take long for another VC funded app to take its place. The question will be whether or not the new app will have a better business plan than Twitter’s.

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