Submission Title

A Survey of Security Vulnerabilities in Social Networking Media - The Case of Twitter

Start Date

12-10-2019 10:55 AM

End Date

12-10-2019 11:20 AM

Location

KSU Center Rm 400

Abstract

Six Degrees is largely considered to be the first social networking platform that allowed users to interact with each other. Users could upload their pictures, make friends on the platform and communicate with them. Ever since, the usage of social networking has increased exponentially. Websites like Orkut, MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, Instagram and Twitter quickly became an integral part of web usage for users across the globe. These social sites supported active communication among users across the globe, sharing of digital media (including pictures, music and videos) and cross platform sharing. According to Statista, over 3.5 billion people around the globe. Of which 244 million people reside in the United States alone (Statista, August 2019).

About 17 million people in the United States use Twitter (Pew Research Center, June 2019). As the propagation of Twitter continues through our society, it is important to consider the security vulnerabilities. This research paper considers the most common security vulnerabilities on Twitter. The primary research method has been conducting an extensive literature search on the vulnerabilities of Twitter. This was done by collecting information from credible academic sources, credible security blogs and finally going over presentations at security conferences. Our research found that one of the main reasons behind security issues related with Twitter arise from its usage of open source languages related to Java (The Verge, February 2013). Unfortunately, Java requires regular patches from Oracle which can create delays in fixing security issues. The paper goes into detail security vulnerabilities that arise from Twitter’s usage of Java and other related languages on its platform including DDoS attacks, ‘twitpocalaypse’ and propagation of misleading information created by its users. Along with Java related vulnerabilities, the research paper also looks at XML vulnerabilities in depth. Bad actors often use Twitter partners’ to gain access to Twitter’s data using XML exploits. This is done by attacking Twitter’s preferred partners to gain access to session token to gain access to Twitter’s databases. Additionally, instances of security exploits leveraging email ID and mouseover functionalities are also explored. Twitter’s applications like ‘tweetdeck’ are also notorious for having security exploits. This paper looks at a few applications and addresses their vulnerabilities. Finally, Twitter’s impact on Geopolitics is addressed including the usage of twitter to affect ‘British EU referendum’.

References:

(2019, August 9). U.S. population with a social media profile 2019. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/273476/percentage-of-us-population-with-a-social-network-profile/

(2019, June 12). Demographics of Social Media Users and Adoption in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/

Sandoval, G., Kopfstein, J., Franzen, C., Blagdon, J., Welch, C., Sottek, T. C., … Bishop, B. (2013, February 20). Cyber criminals exploit Java vulnerability to hack Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/web/2013/2/19/4006868/hackers-exploit-java-vulnerability-apple-facebook-twitter

Comments

Categories and Subject Descriptors

General Literature: Introductory and Survey.

General Terms

Documentation, Security

Keywords

Security; Vulnerability; Twitter; Social Media.

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Oct 12th, 10:55 AM Oct 12th, 11:20 AM

A Survey of Security Vulnerabilities in Social Networking Media - The Case of Twitter

KSU Center Rm 400

Six Degrees is largely considered to be the first social networking platform that allowed users to interact with each other. Users could upload their pictures, make friends on the platform and communicate with them. Ever since, the usage of social networking has increased exponentially. Websites like Orkut, MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, Instagram and Twitter quickly became an integral part of web usage for users across the globe. These social sites supported active communication among users across the globe, sharing of digital media (including pictures, music and videos) and cross platform sharing. According to Statista, over 3.5 billion people around the globe. Of which 244 million people reside in the United States alone (Statista, August 2019).

About 17 million people in the United States use Twitter (Pew Research Center, June 2019). As the propagation of Twitter continues through our society, it is important to consider the security vulnerabilities. This research paper considers the most common security vulnerabilities on Twitter. The primary research method has been conducting an extensive literature search on the vulnerabilities of Twitter. This was done by collecting information from credible academic sources, credible security blogs and finally going over presentations at security conferences. Our research found that one of the main reasons behind security issues related with Twitter arise from its usage of open source languages related to Java (The Verge, February 2013). Unfortunately, Java requires regular patches from Oracle which can create delays in fixing security issues. The paper goes into detail security vulnerabilities that arise from Twitter’s usage of Java and other related languages on its platform including DDoS attacks, ‘twitpocalaypse’ and propagation of misleading information created by its users. Along with Java related vulnerabilities, the research paper also looks at XML vulnerabilities in depth. Bad actors often use Twitter partners’ to gain access to Twitter’s data using XML exploits. This is done by attacking Twitter’s preferred partners to gain access to session token to gain access to Twitter’s databases. Additionally, instances of security exploits leveraging email ID and mouseover functionalities are also explored. Twitter’s applications like ‘tweetdeck’ are also notorious for having security exploits. This paper looks at a few applications and addresses their vulnerabilities. Finally, Twitter’s impact on Geopolitics is addressed including the usage of twitter to affect ‘British EU referendum’.

References:

(2019, August 9). U.S. population with a social media profile 2019. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/273476/percentage-of-us-population-with-a-social-network-profile/

(2019, June 12). Demographics of Social Media Users and Adoption in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/

Sandoval, G., Kopfstein, J., Franzen, C., Blagdon, J., Welch, C., Sottek, T. C., … Bishop, B. (2013, February 20). Cyber criminals exploit Java vulnerability to hack Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/web/2013/2/19/4006868/hackers-exploit-java-vulnerability-apple-facebook-twitter