Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

TimeSpentHere rogue app spreads virally on Twitter

Published by pratyushkp on June 2nd, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Original Post from Sophos . Author – Graham Cluley

Some Twitter users have fallen for yet another rogue application, tricking them into believing that they will discover how many hours they have spent tweeting their little hearts out.

A typical message reads:

WOW --> I have spent 38.1 hours on Twitter! See how much you have: [LINK]

If you are curious enough to click on the link, which – of course – you might do, seeing as it will appear as if one of your Twitter friends has posted it, then you will be asked to authorise a third party app’s request to access your Twitter account.

The app is called TimeSpentHere, and it can only cause a problem for you if you grant it permission to access your Twitter account. If you do, then it will be able to read your Tweets, post in your name, and even change your profile. I’m sure you can imagine the potential for abuse there.

Of course, the very first thing it will do is post a tweet in your name, encouraging your Twitter followers to also click on the link:

Not that you’ll necessary notice that, of course, as it posts the message silently, taking your browser to a webpage of the bad guys’ own creation.

When I tested the scam on a test account, the webpage was reluctant to tell me how many hours I had spent on Twitter (as you can see in the following graphic) but had no qualms in dreaming up an imaginary number to tweet in the hope that it could tempt unsuspecting onlookers.

You’ll notice, however, that they do ask if I wouldn’t mind entering my email address “as a security precaution”. Well, I certainly do mind! And so should you.

Possibly this is an attempt to harvest email addresses, which could be used later for a phishing campaign or malware attack.

It could – of course – be weeks or months before the scammers use any information they grab for criminal purposes, but if you want to find out more follow me on Twitter, and I’ll let you know if there are any developments.

Rogue applications are popping up more and more on Twitter, whereas previously they were mostly seen only by Facebook users.

If you were unfortunate enough to grant a rogue applications access to your Twitter account, revoke its rights immediately by going to the Twitter website and visiting Settings/Applications (it used to be called Settings/Connections but it seems that Twitter has changed it) and revoking the offending app’s rights.

Don’t make it easy for scammers to make money in this way, and always exercise caution about which third party apps you allow to connect with your social networking accounts.

Update: Del Harvey of Twitter’s security team has told me (in her own inimitable style) that the TimeSpentHere rogue application has now been killed off.

Graham Cluley

@delbius Details of another “Time spent on Twitter” rogue app:
about 15 hours ago via EchofonReplyRetweetFavorite
Del Harvey

@gcluley d-e-d dead.
about 15 hours ago via Twitter for MacReplyRetweetFavorite

I wonder how long until the next rogue app pops up on Twitter though..

  • TimeSpentHere rogue app spreads virally on Twitter (
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  • Banned Lady Gaga video attack spreads on Twitter via rogue app (
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Twitter Launches Follow Button for Websites

Published by pratyushkp on June 1st, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Image via CrunchBase

Twitter has launched a Follow button, enabling users to subscribe to the Twitter feeds of companies and individuals directly from their websites with a single click.

Previously, website publishers had to redirect users to their respective accounts on before users could opt to follow them. The new feature will likely encourage publishers to increase the number of “follow us” prompts on their sites, because they won’t have to risk redirecting their audiences off-site.

Users will still be able to preview profiles before opting to follow them by clicking the username next to the Follow button.

Those who are interested in adding the button to their own sites can set one up here.

Source :-

  • Twitter launches its own follow button (
  • Twitter Launches New Follow Button for Websites (
  • Twitter Launches Follow Button for Websites (
  • Twitter Launches the Follow Button (
  • Twitter Introduces New Follow Button (
  • Twitter launches follow button for websites (
  • Twitter Follow Button Now Available, Allows For “On Page” Following (
  • Twitter FINALLY introduces a Follow button for your site (

Facebook Launches Non-Profit Resource Center

Published by pratyushkp on May 30th, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Facebook is launching a resource center to help non-profits use the social network. The site will include educational materials, tutorials and a downloadable non-profit guide geared toward raising awareness and funds for causes specifically through the social network.

A “Get Started” section offers quick tips on how to create a Facebook Page and explains how to set up events and use discussion boards to connect with an audience. The Guide has more general advice like “Be Personal and Educational” or “Use Tools to Increase Relevance” along with mini-spotlights on Facebook features such as targeted ads and Like boxes.

The Resource Center will also include a spotlight section for successful non-profits and a success stories app where Facebook will showcase best practices and try to build a community around shared stories and advice. The main news feed features regular non-profit news and announcements, and the Resource Center has already tapped companies like (RED), UNICEF-USA and to share their success stories and experience with the community.

The resource center is clearly meant to provide non-profits tools, but it’s also a sign that Facebook is taking social good seriously. Facebook has been a home to online philanthropy for some time, but it is not the only game in town. It would be nice to see Facebook expand its resource center the same way that Google did with its non-profit page. It’s important from a business perspective to establish Facebook as a hub for non-profits online, but ultimately the cause — and social good — should come first.

The page has already raked in more than 410,000 Likes and only seems to be growing. Has social good hit the mainstream? Should more companies create resource centers? Let us know in the comments.

Source :-

  • Facebook Launches Non-Profit Resource Center (
  • Facebook Provides New Resource for Non-Profits (
  • Social Media: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (
  • 46 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed (
  • 4 Ways To Help Missouri’s Tornado Victims (

President Obama To Name Twitter CEO To Advisory Committee

Published by pratyushkp on May 28th, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Image via CrunchBase

Once again signaling his close ties with Silicon Valley, President Barack Obama plans to draft Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to his National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

In a White House statement released Thursday evening, Obama named Costolo, along with Scott Charney, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group, McAfee President David G. DeWalt and three others, as potential appointees. The group oversees the availability and reliability of telecom services in the U.S.

Costolo became Twitter CEO last October after co-founder Evan Williams stepped down.

The move is Obama’s latest overture to Silicon Valley. In his January State of the Union address, the president name-checked Google and Facebook. The following month, Obama shared a dinner with Eric Schmidt, then-CEO of Google; Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among others, at the home of Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr.

Source :-

  • President Obama To Name Twitter CEO To Advisory Committee (
  • Obama set to add Twitter CEO to Advisory Committee (
  • Obama to name Twitter CEO to advisory committee (
  • Obama appointing Twitter CEO to advisory group (
  • Obama appointing Twitter CEO to advisory group (
  • This Day in Tech: Obama appoints Twitter CEO, plus Google foes (

Altly : A Year After Diaspora, Another “Facebook Alternative” Emerges

Published by pratyushkp on May 27th, 2011 - in Social, Technology

It was almost exactly a year ago that Diaspora started raising money on Kickstarter. A few weeks later, they had raised $200,000 from nearly 6,500 backers. Why so much excitement? Because Diaspora was aiming to be a Facebook alternative. That hasn’t exactly worked out. At least not yet. But now another startup is about to give it a go, Altly.

So why will this one be any different than Diasopra? Well, for one thing, it’s being started by a pretty well-known entrepreneur. Dmitry Shapiro, the founder of Veoh, is also the one behind Altly. While Veoh didn’t end so well (a firesale acquisition after raising nearly $70 million), they were once a very hot property in the online video space.

But even more notably, Shapiro was most recently an executive at Facebook rival MySpace (he worked on MySpace Music).

So why is Shapiro now aiming head-first at Facebook? He outlines the decision in a lengthy post on Altly’s blog. The basic gist? Facebook’s privacy controls are too confusing. And their social graph is now a mess. Oh, and they’re way too big and powerful. Their “tentacles” are everywhere on the web, and this is a problem because our privacy is at risk. Our data is locked in. Etc.

In other words, the usual critiques of Facebook.

But my favorite reason is this:

At this time there are no real alternatives to Facebook, as most people believe that no one can possibly create an alternative.

Mind. Blown. Well, except for the aforementioned Diaspora. And MySpace, which was once king, and tried to compete with Facebook, but simply lost. And others.

But Shapiro does have a point. As he writes:

There are NO serious alternatives at this time.  For every Coke there is a Pepsi, for every Ford there is a Chevy, for every PC there is a Mac and for every Facebook there is…. a void!  Facebook has such overwhelming power that practically no one believes that trying to build an alternative is possible.

But the problem is that this is not because of anything nefarious Facebook is doing. It’s simply because the rivals that have popped up haven’t been very good. And Facebook, for all its faults, is a very good, and very well-run product.

So Altly will take on this monumental task. And they’ll apparently do so with backing from DFJ.

They seem to be saying the right things. But so did Diaspora. It’s all about the execution. We’ll be watching this one closely, obviously.

Source :-

  • A Year After Diaspora Another “Facebook Alternative” Emerges (
  • Altly: Another Privacy-Focused Facebook Alternative (
  • Ex-MySpace Exec develops Facebook alternative (
  • This Guy’s Startup Wants To Be The First Facebook Competitor, And He Has Big … (
  • You Are Invited To Diaspora (
  • Ex-Myspace exec wants you to make room for a new Facebook (
  • Ex-MySpace Exec Launching Facebook Alternative (
  • Anti-Facebook Startup Diaspora Promises to “Go Faster” (
  • Watch Twitter roast Facebook, and everybody else make fun of MySpace (
  • Diaspora (
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