At around 8pm this evening, the BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, had his Twitpic account hacked. A seamingly routine image upload to Twitter, when clicked on (as you do), opened to reveal a graphic image that was swiftly removed.
The Twitter community has been holding it’s breath for a high profile hack to occur, and sadly, now it has happened. However, Rory was undeterred, and like the ebullient chap he is, was trying to find a new way to post images safely on Twitter.
What we should be grateful for however, is Rory’s willingness to work around the issue and not condemn Twitter themselves for the attack. He is a great example of someone who is totally aware of the issues that new technology faces and that if a bandwagon is there to be jumped on, the liklihood is that people with malign intent will be among the first on board.
Tweeps everywhere should be aware of the risks that having a Twitter acount can have. It’s worth using a different password for the service because of the many different applications that have access to its open API. What this case serves to do us to remind us that we need to be very careful when selecting what programmes we use that are linked with Twitter, especially if they ask for a password.
We are seeing more and more of these types of instance occur, and it may be time for the Twitter team to start looking for ways to prevent third party applications from being developed on such a casual basis. That is not to say that there should be some sort of certification process that a developer much go through, but perhaps Twitter is now at a stage where a team dedicated to filling potentially dangerous gaps in security, needs to be sought.
We know what a wonderful tool Twitter is, and how it is changing the way we communicate, for the better. We must however remain undetterred in our use of the service, whilst also looking over our shoulders at cyber criminals and the like, who will try to exploit the platform.