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August 03, 2023

Microsoft Security Alert Activated by Twitter’s Rebranding to X

A crucial factor in today’s digital world is the security of online platforms. For users, an unexpected change in a well-known app can be a sign of potentially deceptive activity. Therefore, security features are designed to alert users to such changes. One of these precautions is to generate alerts on potential spam-like updates to apps. These alerts are not only an essential part of online security, but also play a crucial role in maintaining user confidence in the digital environment. Despite being intended to protect users, they can also sometimes be triggered during legitimate changes to apps, such as Twitter’s recent rebranding to “X.”

The Unexpected Consequence of Twitter’s Rebranding

Twitter’s X rebranding has produced an unintended consequence: triggering a Microsoft Edge security alert.

Microsoft Edge’s PWA Icon Change Feature

Microsoft Edge’s Progressive Web App (PWA) Icon Change feature is designed to notify users of changes to an app’s icon or name, which can often indicate a scam.

The function worked exactly as intended. PWAs are a way to provide websites with an app-like native experience and can be added to your taskbar as an icon, just like any other app, and can also be set to launch automatically under different scenarios.

Chrome and Edge have been alerting users to changes in app icons and names since 2021. Once activated, the alerts inform people that a Web app may be trying to trick them into thinking it is another app, and encourage them to uninstall it if the change seems suspicious.

Twitter’s Abrupt Rebranding to X

Twitter’s rebranding to X happened somewhat abruptly in the past week, so it’s not surprising that it triggered some automated security concerns along the way.

A New Chapter for Twitter

Last Saturday, Twitter owner Elon Musk said he would soon “say goodbye to the Twitter brand and gradually to all birds,” and challenged anyone to put up a logo for the rebranded site.

Since then, the company has changed the site’s logo, as well as the sign outside the company’s San Francisco headquarters. It also took over the Twitter handle @X from a user who had it for the past 16 years and moved all followers from @Twitter to that account.

In April, Musk merged Twitter into X Corp, effectively ending Twitter, Inc. But the name remained until this week. Musk has said he plans to transform the company into an “Everything” app that will offer more than tweets that, of course, are now called X’s.

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