The Tech Herald

Twitter acquires another security firm

by Steve Ragan - Jan 25 2012, 13:00

Twitter acquires another security firm.(IMG:J.Anderson)

Twitter is adding another layer of security to its engineering department. After purchasing Whisper Systems last November, the micro-blogging company announced on Monday that it has acquired Dasient, a firm that specializes on protecting end-users from malicious advertisements, and harmful content.

With the purchase of Whisper Systems, Twitter gained an impressive set of IP that deals with securing the Android operating system (OS), including the ability to harden the OS and encrypt all of the data on the device, whole also monitoring communications coming and going on the device’s applications.

Something like this would be useful if Twitter ever developed an enterprise offering, which enabled an internalized Twitter-like network based off its APIs and other tool sets. The Whisper Systems acquisition also allows Twitter to strengthen its various mobile platforms, considering the bonus of adding the collective intelligence of Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson to its engineering team.

Now, Twitter has purchased a security firm that focuses on stopping malicious adverts, which have led to issues in the past on sites such as the New York Times. Criminals that use this method replace legitimate ads with scripts and other code that will redirect users to any number of Web-based attacks.

According to Dasient, there were three million malicious advertisement impressions in Q4 of 2010, and the firm said that social media networks were the most likely platforms when it comes to targeting end-users with malicious ads.

“The probability that an average Internet user will hit an infected page after three months of web browsing is 95%... We estimate over 1.1M websites were infected in Q4 2010, which is almost double the number for the same time span in 2009,” Dasient said in a report last year.

Given that Twitter has plans for self-service ads, promoted Tweets, and revenue-generating options, adding Dasient to the fold makes sense.

None of the financial terms for the deal were made public, and Twitter has not commented on how it plans to use the newly acquired technology.

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