'Follow' Hack Causes Twitter Pandemonium

Privacy gap closed, but not before some opportunistic hijinks
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2010 2:45 PM CDT
"Following" and "Followers" counts both at zero.   (?badosa)
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(Newser) – If your Twitter account lists no followers or follow-ees, thank the happy-go-lucky iPhone acquirers at Gizmodo, who tipped the tech world to a vulnerability this morning. It's no longer working, but the web interface allowed the attention-starved to type "accept" and the Twitter name of any account, thereby gaining a follower—and the attendant direct-messaging capability. "I have no idea how a hole this large could be left in a service as popular as Twitter, nor do I understand why it hasn't been shut yet," wrote John Herrman.

Well, it has now. "The Following 0 issue is temporary and will be resolved," co-founder Biz Stone tweeted. " We’re now working to rollback all abuse of the bug, " says the Twitter blog. Among the affected: Conan O'Brien, who famously follows only one person but at one point was listed as following more than 300.

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