How the Twitter bug could have been much much worse

Graham Cluley

Twitter was left with egg on its face earlier this week, when a Turkish heavy metal fan stumbled across a bug in the micro-blogging site that allowed any user to force others to follow them.

17-year-old high school student Bora Kirca, from the Turkish city of Zonguldak, uncovered that if you tweeted the words

accept <username>

then <username> will begin to follow your tweets, even though they have never requested to.

As a result a number of celebrities and other high profile Twitter users found that they were suddenly following complete strangers that they had no interest in.

You might wonder how this chap discovered the flaw. Well, according to a Mashable report, Kirca is a fan of heavy metal band Accept, and when he posted a tweet saying

Accept pwnz

he suddenly…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.