NEW YORK, NY – The mighty Twtitter was brought down by a 17-year-old!
Twitter has certainly become the world’s most popular microblogging site. Tweets and Tweeted have become staples of our vocabulary and Twitter has made “being followed” a good thing. With its popularity and usage going through the roof, one would think that Twitter’s security precautions would be on point. So much so that a 17-year-old couldn’t make Twitter vulnerable to hackers. Or could he?
A 17-year-old Australian schoolboy said on Wednesday he unwittingly caused a massive hacker attack on Twitter which sent users to Japanese porn sites and took out the White House press secretary’s feed.
Pearce Delphin, whose Twitter name is @zzap, admitted exposing a security flaw which was then pounced upon by hackers, affecting thousands of users and causing havoc on the microblogging site for about five hours.
The teenager, who lives with his parents in Melbourne, said he tweeted a piece of “mouseover” JavaScript code which brings up a pop-up window when the user hovers their cursor over the message. But the idea was soon taken up by hackers who tweaked the code to redirect users to pornographic sites and create “worm” tweets that replicated every time they were read.
“I did it merely to see if it could be done … that JavaScript really could be executed within a tweet,” Delphin told AFP via email.
“At the time posting the tweet, I had no idea it was going to take off how it did. I just hadn’t even considered it.”

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