Newsletter: Twitter Comes Up With New Rules & SamSam Ransomware Infects CDOT

Newsletter: Twitter Comes Up With New Rules & SamSam Ransomware Infects CDOT

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Whenever a new technology is introduced into society, there must be a counterbalancing human response – that is, high touch – or the technology is rejected… We must learn to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual demands of our human nature.” ~ John Naisbitt

TWITTER SAYS NO TO BULK TWEETING TO FIGHT SPAM

THE STORY

Twitter banned bulk tweeting to combat spam.

DO WE REALLY NEED NEW RULES?

Twitter is concerned about privacy and security of its platform. Twitter spam bot issue is not a new thing. However, when it was revealed that a lot of Russian spam accounts were involved in jeopardizing the 2016 Presidential elections, things got out of hands. So, to combat all these issues and make it harder for spam accounts to corrupt the social media space, the company has announced changes and guidelines. Though there have always been anti-spam rules but the new rules will make it clearer what is and what is not authorized on Twitter.

From March 23rd, 2018, it will be necessary for the app to be able to restrict bulk tweeting or else they have to face “enforcement action, up to and including the suspension of associated applications and accounts.”

WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES AFTER ALL?

According to the new rules, apps should prevent a user from tweeting out the same or similar content to multiple accounts. Apps should not restrict people from using various accounts to like or retweet the post and to follow a user simultaneously. Moreover, Twitter will also ban apps that can be used to post identical content with a specific hashtag over multiple accounts. Going forward, users can’t post multiple updates about a trending topic with the intention of increasing its importance.

The platform is also updating Tweetdeck so that you can check the new guidelines and explain the importance of sticking to it. You must have seen popular Twitter accounts post the same thing quite a few times. Now, this would not happen as it will be hard for them to use Tweetdeck to get profit.


SAMSAM RANSOMWARE DEMANDS BITCOIN FROM CDOT

THE STORY

Colorado Department of Transportation computers infected by Ransomware virus.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

On Wednesday, Colorado Department of Transportation went old school and used pen and paper instead of computers. A nasty ransomware hijacked company’s computer files and demanded ransom in bitcoin. The security official at the company didn’t give a single thought and shut down more than 2,000 employee computers while they scrutinized the attack.

According to OIT spokeswomen, Brandi Simmons, this is a notorious variant of SamSam. SamSam targeted healthcare industry and according to a report, it encrypted files and renamed them “I am sorry”. Hancock Health in Indiana, paid $55,000 to get the files back. The reason for the attack was not an employee’s fault or recklessness but the hackers took access to one of the vendor’s usernames and password.

According to Amy Ford, a CDOT spokeswoman, ransomware attacked CDOT first thing in the morning Wednesday so affected computers were quarantined but all employee computers were turned off. The ones with Windows and with McAfee security on it were influenced.

See Also: How Ransomware Attacks your System? 5 Tips to Prevent it

WHAT ARE THE OFFICIALS DOING?

David McCurdy, Chief Technology Officer, Governor’s Office of Information Technology stated, “This ransomware virus was a variant and the state worked with its antivirus software provider to implement a fix today. The state has robust backup and security tools and has no intention of paying ransomware. Teams will continue to monitor the situation closely and will be working into the night. FBI and other security agencies are working together to determine a root cause analysis.”

Amy Ford said, “No one is back online. What we’re doing is working offline. All our critical services are still online — cameras, variable message boards, CoTrip, alerts on traffic. They are running on separate systems. The message I’m sharing (with employees) is CDOT operated for a long time without computers so we’ll use pen and paper.”

Amy Ford added that they have only one Mac computer in the office and it wasn’t turned on because “We’re not messing around today.”

Though all the security officials are working hard to discover the loophole but doesn’t the thought of insecurity come to your mind? If a government website is not safe, how can the common man be? Hackers are grooming their skills day by day and to outsmart them, we must plan ahead and think smart, else this could be another one of the attacks on the list of many.

Srishti Sisodia is a technical content journalist at Systweak Software. Apart from being a capable engineer, her affinity for inscription draws her towards writing interesting content about contemporary technologies and progressions. She is an avid reader and a fare connoisseur. She relishes different cuisines and when it comes to baking, she takes the cake!

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