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You Musk be joking! Twitter users migrate to Mastodon after controversial Elon acquisition

Twitter users have been migrating to Mastodon en masse after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, but researchers have identified security flaws within the platform.


Mastodon is a “fediverse” social network that is purportedly decentralised, with philosophies such as no advertising, respecting privacy, and being free and open source. It is comprised of many independent servers which make up and grant access to the network.


After Elon Musk purchased Twitter in a $44 billion deal on October 27, 2022, Mastodon reported on November 20 that they have surpassed over 2 million active monthly users, 400,000 more users than just one week prior.


The mass migration over to Mastodon may be the start of a trend where users of popular social networks move to more private, decentralised platforms after realising the benefits that they can offer.

However, security researchers have discovered vulnerabilities within Mastodon. One of these was a credential-stealing attack that used a HTML injection that would allow a threat actor to steal passwords.


Another was a vulnerability in the object storage configurations that would allow a threat actor to download or delete files.


The vulnerabilities have since been resolved; demonstrating the value of Mastodon’s open-source nature, but also highlighting the network is susceptible to critical security issues.


Therefore, it would be wise to remain cautious of using Mastodon - on both personal and work-owned devices - due to potential security issues which are likely to be unearthed as the network increases its usage.


Furthermore, like most social networks, Mastodon does not implement end-to-end encryption for communications and thus should not be used for any communication deemed to be confidential or secret.


What is Mastodon?


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The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.

 

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