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posted by janrinok on Thursday November 24, @12:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the lock-that-elephant-trunk-up-tight dept.

As the open source social media network grabs the spotlight as a Twitter replacement, researchers caution about vulnerabilities:

As Mastodon experiences explosive user growth as a replacement for Twitter, infosec experts are pointing out security holes in the social media network. From an anonymous server collecting user information to configuration errors that create vulnerabilities, the increased popularity of the platform is leading to increased scrutiny of its flaws.

Unlike other social media apps, which have a central authority, Mastodon is a federation of servers that can communicate with each other, but which are maintained and run separately by independent admins. That means different rules, different configurations, and sometimes different software versions could apply to different users and postings.

One of the most popular "instances" — the Mastodon term for individual servers/communities — for the cybersecurity community is infosec.exchange, and its members certainly scrutinize its configuration. Gareth Heyes (@gaz on infosec.exchange), a researcher at PortSwigger, uncovered an HTML injection vulnerability stemming from attributes of the specific software fork used.

In another example from a recent Security Week article, Lenin Alevski (@alevsk on infosec.exchange), a security software engineer at MinIO, pointed out a system misconfiguration that would allow him to download, modify, or delete everything in the instance's S3 cloud storage bucket.

Finally, researcher Anurag Sen (@hak1mlukha on infosec.exchange) discovered an anonymous server that was scraping Mastodon user data.


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @04:58PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @04:58PM (#1281501)

    ... in the same way as Teams, Discord etc are really just IRC with a fancy UI.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by driverless on Friday November 25, @05:50AM

    by driverless (4770) on Friday November 25, @05:50AM (#1281545)

    Teams isn't IRC with a fancy UI, Teams is like... when a French-speaking manager tried to describe IRC to an English-speaking manager and they had to communicate mostly through gestures, and at the same time the English-speaking manager had various ideas about all sorts of cool features that were needed based on some stuff his daughter talked about wanting for her Android tablet, something he heard in a TED talk, and vague memories of playing with an iPad in an airport lounge a year or two back.