Twitter's Strategy to Counter Spam, Cyberattacks

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Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Mark Risher, co-founder of Impermium and former spam czar at Yahoo, discusses Twitter's security concerns with Cory Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

One of the attackers doing?

-- what are the attackers doing?

No, what is twitter doing?

They are acknowledging that anybody operating a website these days, anybody operating an internet service is susceptible to increasingly frequent and sophisticated attacks.

Who is attacking twitter?

Who isn't, to some degree?

I'm not in denial about that.

I'm glad to hear it, cory.

There were many attacks from a group that alleged to be the syrian electronic army.

There is a wide range of lower- level attackers.

It doesn't require very much to get started today in hiking different websites.

There's tools you can buy on the black market to help yourself along the way.

When you have a company like twitter entirely based on online data generated from users, but raise the barriers to attackers, are there different approaches a company like this will take?


One of the things twitter called out in their s-1 is they believe that less than 5% of their users are fraudulent.

There have been many studies that have come to a much larger number.

In order to gain clarity, you sometimes affect a lot of legitimate users.

The issue of spam users, fake users, is going to be one of the big questions going into this ipo.

The growth rate of the user footer growth has come off quite a bit coinciding with this time when they said they figured out how to get rid of these users.

The old user growth numbers were fakier.

That word does not exist, but -- we know the new ones are not.

As the old one the growth rate, or the new one the real growth rate?

It is hard to tell.

Twitter admits -- they used the word 27 times in their s-1 filing.

-- spam 27 times in there as one filing.

Advertisers believe they are not reaching real human beings, they will be less willing to pay those premiums.

The challenge is that frequently there is a trade-off between security and usability.

You want the service to be easy to sign up for for legitimate people, but if you throw the door to wide open you suddenly have a lot of things you don't want.

They clearly stumbled on some effects they did not have months ago.

Insecurity there is never a silver bullet.

-- security is never a silver bullet.

Taking a broad-based behavioral approach to understanding who is a legitimate user and who is not.

That means more than just,@up time, assuming everyone coming in is good.

-- at sign up time, assuming everyone coming in as good.

Connecting together all these disparate signals.

Who is this person, where they coming from on the internet, what browser are they using?

How fast are they typing?

All the signals can be put together to get a complete picture of, do we have a legitimate user here?

I'm sure more will be following as their numbers come out.

Thank you much.

My pleasure.

More to come.

The health insurance exchanges

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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