Twitter's TweetDeck back to tweeting after creative hack discovered by teenager


Twitter's TweetDeck is back online after a teenage user found a creative hack in the system by accident. Despite Twitter putting the service back up after it had investigated the flaw, a number of users are continuing to report a few errors still popping up.

A 19-year-old Austrian Twitter user and programmer reported the flaw after discovering that emoticons, such as the heart which Twitter coding does not change into icons, were turning up in messages as the icons themselves. He then realized that anyone with coding background could create popup windows that would deliver customized messages to thousands.

Among the accounts hacked were those belonging to a top White House aide and BBC News. Reports indicate thousands of accounts were affected. TweetDeck is a desktop app that lets users manage their Twitter feeds.

According to reports, the young programmer, named Florian, had been attempting to tweet a symbol using HTML code for "heart" but had not expected it to display according to Twitter's own coding, but it did and he investigated further.

"Most people get me wrong, but it was accidentally, by random," Florian, who refused to give his surname, told The Telegraph.

"I was shocked when I saw that the script got executed. This is a mistake that no web developer should ever make."

It is the latest security glitch to hit a major website in recent months. Earlier this year, eBay reported a massive hack into its servers that could have affected tens of thousands of users. The Heartbleed Bug that could have compromised millions of users' personal data and bank information has left the general public concerned and fearful of online security attacks.

Tweetdeck was taken down for a number of hours as the hack was investigated, but the company says it appears to have fixed the problem. The Austrian had informed Twitter only minutes after he discovered the flaw, but by that time the hack had taken hold.

"We've verified our security fix and have turned TweetDeck services back on for all users. Sorry for any inconvenience," the company said.

The glitch has left many users frustrated that messages could be sent out without their previous knowledge or that they could be inundated with popup messages that would make the tweeting process less smooth.

Twitter has not commented further than stating the glitch has been resolved and that TweetDeck is functioning normally at the present, despite users' reporting a number of issues persisting.

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