Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Seriously, what is the point of gathering Twitter followers just for bragging purposes?

January 8, 2014 2 comments




Oh dear, how sad, nevermind.

I don’t follow back anyone not involved in my core incompetency: security. What’s the point? I’m not interested and it just clutters up what I am interested in. I do, however, follow back anyone who is involved in security.

This is Smile Advice’s subject matter:




No disrespect, but it’s just not my bag.

If it’s your bag, please follow Smile Advice. Say I sent you.

Categories: All

What ties Microsoft, surveillance, Syria and the Syrian Electronic Army together?

January 2, 2014 Leave a comment

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) yesterday hacked Skype’s WordPress and Twitter accounts. The likelihood is that the pro-Syrian group got hold of the password used by Skype’s media people, probably through its usual method of spear-phishing. My report on the incident for Infosecurity Magazine is here.

But this hack was a little different to SEA’s normal escapades. The group’s whole raison d’être is to deliver pro-Assad messages to counter what it believes is anti-Assad propaganda controlled and delivered by western governments. This is the reason that it has concentrated on attacking high-profile media companies.

Well, Skype is certainly high-profile — but the message is not ‘Syrian’. On both the Skype Twitter account and its WordPress blog the SEA message was this:


SEA's message via Skype's Twitter account

SEA’s message via Skype’s Twitter account


It’s a message you might more likely expect from Anonymous protesting against NSA surveillance and Microsoft complicity in that surveillance rather than a pro-Assad movement.

I asked SEA if it marked a change in its targets and tactics; and got this reply:

We can confirm that attack was done by us. and we gained access to important documents about monitoring accounts/emails by Microsoft.

It’s still about Syria. And we will detail that soon.

So that’s the big question now: what ties Microsoft, surveillance and Syria together?

Categories: All, Politics, Security Issues

Who’s doing what to protect our data?

December 9, 2013 Leave a comment

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a fascinating graphic on which companies are doing what things to protect their customers’ – our – data in the post Prism/Snowden era.



What different companies are doing to protect their customers’ data – source: EFF


What really leaps out is that the companies is that provide consumer cloud services are on our side (Dropbox, Facebook, Google and Twitter); telecommunication companies are on their side (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon); and the main OS providers (Microsoft and Apple) aren’t really sure which side their bread is buttered.

Categories: All, Politics, Security Issues

Why would you follow someone who never tweets?

February 11, 2013 6 comments

I got this message from Twitter saying that @Cayovaofficial had started following me.

Cayovaofficial? Never heard of him, her or them – but it’s always nice when you get a new follower, so I went and looked.

I’m puzzled. Now I know that I simply don’t understand modern networking, but really…




How on earth to you accumulate 32,640 Twitter followers when you have never produced a single tweet to follow? No, really, how do you do that?

I know I’m missing something, but for the life of me I don’t know what. Incidentally, I didn’t become the 32,641st follower.

Categories: All, General Rants

Did my plan to beat the recession work?

January 5, 2013 2 comments

On 15 December I shamelessly asked people to retweet a post: Re-Tweet this post – it’s part of my plan to beat the recession. The underlying purpose was to see if I could manipulate my social Klout score and qualify for a business loan. I couldn’t.

The post got 15 tweets, 3 LinkedIn shares, 2 G+ shares and 5 Facebook likes – and I thank everyone who responded.


Sharing the post...

Sharing the post…


During this period my Klout score rose to its highest ever: 49 – possibly enough to get me an interview for a job as a janitor in a business under administration; but not enough to fool the money men.


Highest score ever!

Highest score ever!


Since that time the score has resumed its downward trend, suggesting my natural social score is around 45 (much better than when I opened my Klout account with a score of 30 – at which time Thomas Power of the ecademy social/business network accurately described me as a ‘social muppet’). (Incidentally, ecademy was bought by Lyndon Wood last July and is now, even as I write this, morphing into SunZu – The Art of Business.)

69% of my Klout score comes from my engagement with Twitter. Less than 2% comes from Google+, and the rest from LinkedIn. Nothing comes from Facebook because I do nothing with Facebook.


Source of my social standing

Source of my social standing


So what can I conclude from this experiment? Well, the simple fact is that my score increased by about two points. The implication, then, is that if I were a more naturally social animal, cultivated Facebook and other networks and told everyone what I had for breakfast despite being hung over from last night’s debauchery (which I would have interrupted every two minutes to explain what base I had reached), then I could rapidly become a better business bet. But I would have to maintain this engagement over an extended, possibly continuous, period. Or, as Mary Branscombe said when she kindly commented on the original request:


Tweet from Mary Branscombe


What a strange world, this world of ours.

Categories: All

Re-Tweet this post – it’s part of my plan to beat the recession

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

In order to beat the recession I need to expand. In order to expand I need a business loan. In order to get a business loan I need to improve my Klout.

No, really.

I went to the bank. No.

I went home, juggled some figures on the business plan to improve the bottom line projected profits and went back. No.

Apparently it has nothing to do with business potential, it has only to do with collateral. That is, I can have it if I can prove I don’t need it.

There must be another way. So I checked American Banker and found this in Thursday’s issue:

CAN is joining a growing list of companies chasing small business loans by using alternative data sourcing. These companies include Kabbage, which uses social media data as part of lending decisions… Lighter Capital also uses social networking data…
Big Data Comes to Small Business Online Lending

So I checked back into the earlier issues, and found this:

The company [Kabbage] is incorporating social media activity into its analysis now, Frohwein [founder and CEO] says. “We allow our customers to associate their Twitter and Facebook accounts. As our theory goes, the more active you are at keeping in touch, gaining followers, and responding to them, the more likely you’re running a solid, growing business and you’re worth an additional risk. Or there’s less risk associated with you so we can provide more cash or at a lower rate.”
The 10-Minute Small Business Loan

So that’s the plan; and that’s where you come in. Tweaking the bottom line of my business plan no longer works – but with your help I will be able to tweak the bottom line of my Klout score and get the low-interest business loan I so richly deserve. So please use the ‘share’ buttons below: tweet, like, repost, Reddit, whatever – or all – for this post. Do it for Christmas and the lulz, and I’ll still beat the system. You know I’m worth it.

Categories: All

PrivacyFix: a new add-on to fix privacy settings in Facebook and Google

October 10, 2012 Leave a comment

I have never believed in reviewing security products. Even government-backed security tests can’t do much more than say this product is well-documented; and, if they’re particularly sophisticated, they might be able to say it stops everything in Metasploit at a particular point in time. All a reviewer can say is that I didn’t find any problems. No-one can say there are no problems.

With that in mind I’ve been playing with PrivacyFix on Chrome. It takes the hassle out of fixing your privacy settings on Facebook and Google, and helps you control cookie tracking. At least that’s what it says it does – and I’ve found no reason to doubt it.

Even though I left Facebook back in May 2010 I decided more recently that I needed an account if only to check products like this. I have no friends, am friended by no-one; I like no-one and nothing, and am liked by no-one; I have no apps and no timeline.

Nevertheless, PrivacyFix took me through the major privacy settings, asked me if I wanted to change them, and then helped me do it. This is how it finished…

My Facebook privacy after PrivacyFix

…and I particularly like

What Facebook earns off me

I guess it’s only fair that Facebook earns 3 cents per annum from me for the ability to run PrivacyFix. Google is different. I have an unspoken moral contract with Google. It provides me with free email and Google Apps, and I make frequent use of Maps to help get from A to B.

My Google privacy after PrivacyFix

What Google earns off me

$458 per annum is probably a fair price. What it does tell me, of course, is that I should buy shares in Google rather than Facebook.

On to tracking. I have my browser set to delete cookies at the end of each session, but it does mean that I accumulate tracking cookies between restarts. Perhaps you’ll take my word for it that there were five nasty tracking cookies tracking me right now before I clicked Fix. Now there are none. And its going to be more difficult for them to get back on.

Cookies gone!

But PrivacyFix doesn’t stop there. It also gives me a privacy health rating for the sites I visit. Intuitively, I have always felt more confident about my privacy with Twitter than with LinkedIn, and with LinkedIn than with Facebook. Now I have ‘proof’:

Privacy health on Twitter

Privacy health on LinkedIn

Privacy health on Facebook

You can get PrivacyFix here.

[If you find an advert beneath this post, it’s not because of me, and I don’t benefit. It’s because you haven’t installed AdBlock. I suggest you go get it.]

Categories: All, Security Issues