You may remember that late last summer, HTC’s Peep Twitter client ran into some problems connecting to the service after Twitter upgraded its login method to support OAuth. While the company got a fix ready within a few days, apparently it left behind a security hole or two, potentially exposing your account information. Now HTC has a fix available, though you’ll have to do a little work to get it.
The introduction of OAuth was supposed to make connecting to Twitter more secure, in a delicious bit of irony. The way HTC Peep has been sending its login info, anyone monitoring your internet connection could snatch your Twitter password out of the air. While a cellular data hookup is secure enough, unless you’re going up against some NSA-type adversaries, WiFi is a trickier business. Connect to the wrong open access point, and some 14-year-old script kiddie could retrieve your Twitter password with ease. All he’d need to do is log Peep’s transmissions, as HTC sends the valuable data as unencrypted, plain text.
While HTC has a secure version of Peep, it’s not yet available for download. The researcher who discovered the vulnerability and notified HTC has been in touch with the company, and was told that HTC will provide its customers with the fix if they ask for it. The company may be doing a little more bug-testing to make sure the patch is solid before putting it into wide release. For the time being, if you contact HTC directly, apparently it will send out the patch on a case-by-case basis.