Twitter buys Dasient to address malicious link problem

first_imgChances are good that you’ve seen a malicious link posted on Twitter before. As the social site’s popularity skyrocketed, so did the number of unscrupulous opportunists who tried to leverage Twitter streams for their own nefarious purposes. Twitter has been called out before for not doing enough to protect its users: poisoned URLs have repeatedly spread like wildfire, sometimes even finding their way into users’ direct messages despite the fact that they don’t follow the sender.Now, however, it looks as though they’re finally ready to address the problem in a big way.Twitter has acquired Dasient, a company founded by three former Google staffers and develops software that identifies and protects against web-based malware and malicious advertising — and even traces the links back to their source. It’s a great pick-up by Twitter since Dasient doesn’t just offer a way for them to better protect their own site and users. The company already has a strong customer base and revenue stream from other sites that rely on its anti-malware tech.It’s also worth knowing that Dasient’s software doesn’t rely on blacklisting. Their system utilizes web crawlers and heuristics and can therefore respond to and mitigate zero-day threats, something simple URL blocking schemes can’t do. It’s also a system that grows smarter over time, meaning Twitter should become progressively more resistant to malicious link campaigns. In addition to keeping Twitter users safe, it will also keep Twitter from being blacklisted by folks like Google, Symantec, and McAffee who watch the web for URLs hosting malicious links.Now if only Facebook would sign up for the service and do something about all those scammy Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber links that end up on compromised users’ walls…More at Dasientlast_img