Twitter Writhes with Worms, Google Puts News Articles in a Timeline

Over the Easter weekend, Twitter was hit by two worms created by a 17-year-old from Brooklyn. The “StalkDaily” and “Mikeyy” worms proved to be more of a nuisance for the Twitter team than a serious security breach, but Michael Mooney (who claimed he unleashed the wigglers partly out of ennui and partly to exploit a vulnerability in the Twitter code) still managed to foul up hundreds of accounts and send some 10,000 spam Tweets before the damage could be fixed and the accounts secured.

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone hinted, before Mooney came forward, that the company would take legal against against the perpetrator. Mooney’s reaction to the potential legal repercussions of viral actions was that of a typical teenager–incongruous with a dash of blasé. “I feel pretty bad about it, but it’s not me that left the vulnerability out in the open,” he said. “I’m not worried, though. I know that it could land me in jail.”

Next time Mr. Mooney is feeling bored, he might take a walk or read a book instead. Or just realize that monotony is a part of life.  That flat, listless, empty feeling? Not worth jail, kid.

In other news, Google has created a timeline feature for its news articles to show which sources break stories and how the stories develop over time. News aggregators’ inability (or just unwillingness) to “point users to the latest and most authoritative sources of breaking news” was one of the AP’s chief complaints when it announced last week a new initiative to track AP content online. Although Google CEO Eric Schmidt denied that the AP’s allegations of “misappropriation” included the search engine,  Google could be trying to cover its bases, nonetheless.

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