Twitter buys mobile security startup

Microblog service provider looks to bolster security with acquisition even as mobile malware and online security threats continue to rise, report states.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Microblogging site operator Twitter acquired a security startup, Whisper Systems, that makes software to improve security and privacy for Android smartphones and other mobile devices.

Reuters reported on Monday that the acquisition provides Twitter with the technology to bolster the security of its popular service, which had been compromised several times this year, with one of the more recent case being the hack on U.S. TV network NBC's account in September. The deal also brings the startups' two co-founders Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson, both of whom are highly-respected experts in the field of online security, into the company's fold, the report added.

"The Whisper Systems team is joining Twitter starting today. As part of our fast-growing engineering team, they will be bringing their technology and security expertise to Twitter's products and services. We're happy to have Moxie and Stuart onboard," Twitter said in an e-mail statement on Monday.

It did not disclose a price for the deal, and declined to comment beyond the statement, the report added.

The acquisition is timely considering the rapid increase of mobile malware, particularly on Google's Android platform. Security firm M86 Security Labs stated that mobile threats grew at an alarming rate this year with Android emerging as a highly targeted platform of cybercriminals attempting to intercept security controls deployed to protect users from banking Trojans and this is "one of the most troubling trends" going forward, according to a ZDNet Asia report.

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