Automated Twitter postings pose a severe security risk

The problem, apparently highlighted by a retweet from former Apple Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki - now a venture capitalist - in one of his automated postings, is that, if the original tweet includes malicious information, the data is automatically rebroadcast.

And if the recipient of the retweet trusts the sender of the message, the chances of them clicking on an allied URL is quite high.

Finjan, the business Internet security vendor, has come up with a solution to the issue with an enhancement to its SecureBrowsing plug-in for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

The SecureTwitter enhanced plug-in reportedly checks each URL as it is called to the browser for its overall safety levels and acts as a free safety net for Twitter users.

The problem of automated retweets is being made worse, Infosecurity notes, by applications such as Seesmic and Tweetdeck, both of which have an automated keyword search function that operates in a similar manner to an RSS feed.

When enabled, these features automatically scan for tweets with a given keyword, again potentially exposing users to unvetted postings.

Finjan's SecureBrowsing - along with other URL checking utilities from the likes of McAfee and Symantec's paid-for IT security offerings - give users a degree of security from rogue messages with embedded URLs.

The problem, however, of having insecure Twitter buddies is a potentially major one, Infosecurity notes.


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