05 September 2008 | 3,504 views

Twitter Targeted by Malware Distributors

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This one is of interest to me as I do actually use Twitter as a microblogging service and to keep up with what various friends are up to.

It’s quite an interesting wep app especially paired with something like Twitterfox in your browser and Twibble in your mobile phone.

It must have made it big now though because it’s starting to get targeted by spammers and scammers trying to pimp dodgy sites and spread malware.

Twitter’s time has finally come. The microblogging service, once the playground of the Web 2.0 digerati, is now mainstream enough to be targeted by online criminals.

Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a fake Twitter profile created solely for the purpose of infecting people’s computers.

The profile, with an alias that means “pretty rabbit” in Portuguese, has posted a link that purports to be a pornographic video, but is instead Trojan software masquerading as MP3 files that steals data from the machine, according to the Kaspersky’s Viruslist.com blog.

It’s a pretty standard hook and normal malware, nothing new to see here – just a new way of distributing it via Twitter.

I have seen more and more spam profiles on Twitter, they tend to mass add and follow everyone they can find then I think they send out fake @messages with tinyurls that point to spam sites.

“If you click on the link, you get a window that shows the progress of an automatic download of a so-called new version of Adobe Flash, which is supposedly required to watch the video. You end up with a file labeled Adobe Flash (it’s a fake) on your machine; a technique that is currently very popular,” the blog says.

The attack is dangerous because it does not require programming skills and could spread easily if it ends up high in Google search engine rankings. That is possible because Google indexes unprotected Twitter profiles.

This isn’t the only security problem to hit Twitter. Last week, researcher Avi Raff launched a Web site devoted to security issues with Twitter called Twitpwn.

It seems there are various other vulnerabilities one with auto-follow, which could be very dangerous. It reminds me of the Auto-digg vulnerability a while back where if you had a Digg account and were logged in when you visited the site it’d auto Digg the chosen page.

I’ll be keeping an eye out on TwitPwn and see what they get up to.

Source: Cnet (Thanks Navin)



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4 Responses to “Twitter Targeted by Malware Distributors”

  1. Navin 5 September 2008 at 10:52 am Permalink

    cheers!!! :)

  2. Morgan Storey 6 September 2008 at 2:24 pm Permalink

    Wasn’t it just last month a similar Facebook one. It is getting really annoying, someone needs to do a plain html social networking site, that doesn’t allow you to put in your DOB or other id compromising data :P

  3. Navin 6 September 2008 at 3:47 pm Permalink

    Nice idea….but I don’t think anyone will heed it…In this age of “the world is in your hands” technologies, with keywords such as “cloud computing” coming into play…I think a plain html soc-net site will instantly be pushed into the bag!!

  4. Morgan Storey 7 September 2008 at 11:03 pm Permalink

    Navin: oh no I know the site I suggested would be borderline useless. Especially as a social networking site. I was just making a point that these companies need to really sacrafice some of their features for security, which is the age old problem.