The new Twitter will be a boon to scammers

At the end of August, Sean Murphy, co-founder of Web3 ImpactScope company, was trying to book a flight from Nairobi, Kenya, to Entebbe, Uganda, with Kenya Airways. “The information on the booking page was ambiguous”, tells. So Murphy decided to send a direct message to Kenya Airways’ verified account on Twitter, asking him to confirm the baggage rules. A day later, having received no response, he sent the company a public tweet reiterating the question. At that point the answers began to arrive.

Within minutes, several Twitter accounts claiming to be Kenya Airways they sent a tweet to Murphy. They all offered to help them, but no one seemed official. The accounts used the Kenya Airways logo and slogan, but doubts immediately arose when clicking on their profiles: “Most of their messages were well done; however, the low follower count and misspellings or odd choice of fonts in their handles were the main clues.”Murphy says.

Drastic change

It’s now easier for Twitter accounts to appear official. In the chaotic days following the acquisition of the company by Elon Musk for $ 44 billion and the dismissal of thousands of employees, the social network has renewed the account verification system. The new Twitter Blue subscription service allows anyone to pay $ 8 a month to get the blue check indicating that a profile is “verified”. The symbol appears almost instantly once payment is made with no questions asked or people needing to prove their identity.

The new system marks a clear difference from the Twitter’s previous approach to verification of users, reserved exclusively for accounts belonging to brands, public figures and governments. In all of these cases, the verification was approved by Twitter staff. It is likely that the new verification process – or rather, its absence – you make life easier for scammers, cybercriminals and misinformersallowing these figures to hone their tactics and appear legitimate.

“Cybercriminals use social media with great ease as the perfect vehicle to target unknown victims. When there is no clear way to verify identities, it gives free field to accounts that pretend to be others, which will be exploited by malicious people who want to scam peoplenotes Jake Moore, a global cybersecurity consultant at security firm Eset.

The danger of scams

The situation has already become chaotic. Soon after Twitter Blue introduced the verification system, accounts started popping up that passed for people and companies. Some of these profiles seemed to want to test the system, while others were causing problems. In some cases new accounts have been used, while in other profiles that have been present on the platform for years have obtained the blue check. One account called Nintendo of America (@nIntendoofus) tweeted an image of Super Mario showing the middle finger. They appeared fake profiles of Apple TV +of the gaming company Valvebut also of Donald Trump and LeBron James. A post from an account pretending to be a US sports channel analyst Espn it got more than 10,000 views before being canceled, the fact-checking organization reported Snopes (The account had “Not” in his name and his biography described it as a parody). As of November 9, following a wave of similar cases, Twitter has suspended the ability for new accounts to purchase verification.

The new Twitter will be a boon to scammers