Twitter for Verification: The Crypto Approach

October 21, 2020

New York State’s Twitter Investigation Report explores the cybersecurity “incident” at Twitter and its implications for election security. If you don’t have a copy, you can view the document at this url. The main point of the document struck me as this statement from the document:

Given that Twitter is a publicly traded, $37 billion technology company, it was surprising how easily the Hackers were able to penetrate Twitter’s network and gain access to internal tools allowing them to take over any Twitter user’s account.

With the Department of Financial Services’ report in mind, I found the information in “.Crypto Domain Owners Can Now Be Verified With Twitter Accounts for Safer Payments” interesting. Twitter and “safer” are not words I would associate. The write up reports:

Blockchain startup Unstoppable Domains and oracle network Chainlink have launched a new feature allowing individuals or entities with blockchain domains to authenticate themselves using their Twitter accounts. The feature is powered by Chainlink oracles, which connect each .crypto address from Unstoppable Domains to a public Twitter username. The firms said the Twitter authentication could help stem crimes in cryptocurrency payments such as phishing hacks.

In one of our Twitter tests, we created an account in the name of a now deceased pet. Tweets were happily disseminated automatically by the dog. Who knew that the dead dog’s Twitter account can reduce phishing attacks?

Twitter: Secure enough to deliver authentication? The company’s approach to business does not give me confidence in the firm’s systems and methods.

Stephen E Arnold, October 21, 2020

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