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Security concerns over Twitter’s new verification plan are already being exploited

Patrick Devaney

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So, it’s started. Twitter has started rolling out its new $ 8-a-month subscription service for anybody who wants a verified Twitter account. We have warned about the security concerns involved in replacing verification with a payment model, all while making it look almost exactly the same but hey-ho, it was Elon Musk who put up the $44 billion to buy the social network so it is Elon Musk who is now in charge at Twitter HQ. Unfortunately, however, it looks as though there are a series of scams already popping up designed to take advantage of Twitter’s new situation. Let’s check it out.

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Verified accounts are supposed to offer other users a way to be sure that the account they are dealing with is exactly who it is supposed to be. They allow users to trust the accounts they interact with, which unfortunately means they will let their guard down a little. This is why in recent months we have seen a series of scams aimed at verified account owners and even stolen verified accounts turning up for sale on the black market with price tags to the tune of hundreds of dollars each.

Security concerns over Twitter’s new verification plan are already being exploited

All of this means that verified accounts are not just about status. In today’s world they are also about security and that is just on the personal level and does not consider the societal effects that will follow fake journalists being able to willfully spread misinformation while protected by a purchased blue tick. Unfortunately, it looks as if this security reality is already becoming apparent as BleepingComputer has reported a marked increase in phishing attack scams aimed at new verified account owners.

Yes, it seems that as well as simply being able to pay $8 a month to get a verified account blue tick, scammers have first started targeting the new account owners in a bid to hijack their accounts so they can use them to further scams such as those we’ve already reported on. This means that paying $8 a month will open you up to a new series of scams. It also means, however, that the blue tick, in its current form, is essentially useless when it comes to verifying the authenticity of an account.

If you have decided to go with the new subscription service, however, and are paying for a verified badge, we suggest you check out our infographic, which will show you everything you need to know to stay safe from phishing attacks.

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