Twitter ban for security expert

News Web User Oct 8, 2009

Security expert Mikko Hypponen of Finnish company F-Secure found himself temporarily banned from Twitter this week.

Mikko Hypponen, a researcher at Finnish security firm F-Secure, found himself barred from the Twitter micro-blogging site earlier this week.

Though the ban has now been lifted, Hypponen seems quite surprised to have been blocked and has so far been unable to get an explanation as to why it happened.

Writing on the F-Secure blog, Hypponen said: "My account was suspended by Twitter without explanation.

"Since then I've received no further information from them and they have not responded to my queries. My account was not hacked. Nevertheless, it was suspended because of 'suspicious activity'," he continued.

Though he has since been allowed to use his account again, Hypponen is asking visitors in a poll on the F-Secure blog to vote for the tweet that they think got him suspended.

Among the contenders are "Criminals are mass-generating fake Twitter accounts for profit: http://bit.ly/owG6j Be careful" and "Yet another Twitter worm last night. More info & screenshots: http://bit.ly/q7lnf".

Hypponen rarely tweets about any other subject than online security, though one explanation could be that Twitter mistook him for one of the bad guys.

UPDATE: Hypponen has since received an explanation from Twitter.

The explanation email reads: "I've unsuspended your acct. You were suspended for using the malware URL rnyspeceDOTcom in DMs. Be careful! We scan evrythng for malware [sic]."

The offending tweet, "I guess somebody will fall for it...a desperate Myspace phishing site at www. rnyspece. com. (don't go there)", was made more than two months ago, Hypponen said.

"Really? Banning me for that? Two months afterwards? This sure makes no sense to me," said Hypponen.