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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: 5, Informative) by number11 on Thursday November 24, @08:16PM

    by number11 (1170) on Thursday November 24, @08:16PM (#1281520)

    Trump (or rather, his minions) did copy the software. Being OSS that's allowed, so long as Pravda Social gives credit, which after some tussle they started doing. Who knows, maybe Pravda will even make some improvement to the software that can be incorporated elsewhere. Not likely, but you never know. But Pravda is stand-alone, not part of the larger network, the Fediverse is unlikely to ever allow that.

    It's a little like the mass killer driving a Ford. It's not great for Ford, but it's not the point either.

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