Tag: social media security

Online and mobile security and privacy issue threatens some Twitter users

The social network has warned some of its users of the chance for state-sponsored hackers accessing their data.

Twitter has now released an alert for some of the users of its social network, cautioning them of a certain online and mobile security issue that may have involved state-sponsored hackers attempting to access sensitive data from within their accounts.

This is the first time the company has issued this type of warning to any of its users.

Within the mobile security and online privacy notice, it indicated that as of that time, there had not been any indication that would suggest that the hackers had actually managed to access any of the sensitive information from within a “small group of accounts” that had been targeted during the attempts. That said, the letter didn’t provide any more information about the attack, nor did it suggest any potential suspects that were being sought as a part of the company’s investigation into this issue.

This mobile security and privacy notice is only the latest among several data breach concerns from state-sponsored organizations.

Mobile Security and TwitterTwitter is far from alone in the threat it has faced by way of cyberattacks. Many companies, government agencies and media outlets have all seen their fair share of data breaches from hackers. Several news sites have now been reporting on the warning that Twitter has issued. Among them, one was actually a recipient of the notice. It was a company called Coldhak, which is a nonprofit organization based in Winnipeg, Canada.

That company’s notice explained that the cyber attackers could potentially have been seeking to breach mobile security or online privacy barriers in order to gain access to information such as IP addresses, email addresses and/or telephone numbers. That organization’s own Twitter account (@coldhakca) has since retweeted a several reports from other people who have also claimed to have received the notification from Twitter.

Neither Coldhak nor any of the other users have given any indication as to why they may have been targeted for this type of cyberattack. One of the directors of the nonprofit, Colin Childs, said that despite having received the notice from Twitter, his organization has detected “no noticeable impact of this attack.” Facebook and Google have also issued their own versions of notifications to let users know when state-sponsored attacks have targeted their accounts.

Mobile technology could play a central role in security efforts

At the same time that consumers are being warned about their privacy over smartphones, those devices could also help.

A mobile technology trend involving the use of smartphones and tablets to help to improve local security among residents of a neighborhood and in tracking, through the combination of smartphones and social media apps.

These tools are becoming an increasing part of various types of community policing program.

The key is that smartphones are owned by the majority of adults, and among the owners of that mobile technology, most use social media apps. Moreover, they spend a great deal of time on those applications and they access them on a regular basis. This, as a result, is providing a useful tool in the help to fight crime. A new trend has started with private security companies as well as with the Community Policing Forum (CPF), where this tech and these mobile apps are combined in order to be able to raise awareness of issues and to alert residents when a problem may be present.

A growing number of specific instances of the use of mobile technology for crime fighting and safety has been occurring.

Mobile technology - SecurityOne example, among many, occurred on New Year’s Day, in Glenvista, South Africa. Just before opening at 8am, the Glenvista Shopping Centre Checkers store was robbed. This involved a situation in which an estimated seven suspects had stolen an undisclosed amount of money from the cash office. In this case, the robbery was discussed on the CPF Facebook page, where there were a number of important leads and connections made that brought about several advancements toward solving this crime. The good relationship between the CPF and the police has continued since then and they work closely.

Other CPFs within the community are also using mobile apps to be able to help in battling crime. Community Watch is one of the apps that is being used the most widely, as it brings together an instant messaging service with a direct connection to CPFs, private security companies, and even the police.

These are only a couple of examples of the important role that mobile technology is starting to play in the safety of individuals and entirely communities in South Africa, as regular everyday people and law enforcement officials work together to improve their own security using smartphones and apps.