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News

Social networking sites used as conduit for latest malware

Cyveillance : 25 June, 2009  (Technical Article)
The trend in malware distribution mechanism is shifting towards popular social networking sites with a prevalence of such devices as maltweets to direct users to malicious web sites
Cyveillance has issued a warning that cyber criminals are making use of current events and Twitter to distribute malicious links on the Internet. Cyveillance recently discovered 'Maltweets,' Twitter messages or tweets that contain URLs of infected sites, being used in conjunction with popular search terms to entice users to click on malicious links. In addition to 'Maltweets' cyber criminals are going as far as to infiltrate link shortening services, as seen by the recent attack on Cligs, the 4th largest shortening service on Twitter. As always, Cyveillance recommends Twitter users and Web users in general, only follow links from trusted sources and maintain up-to-date security software programs on their computers.
'With the exponential growth and popularity of Twitter in the last year, the micro-blogging platform has become a tool for cyber criminals to target unsuspecting Internet users,' said Panos Anastassiadis, CEO of Cyveillance. 'Our comprehensive Internet monitoring technology enables Cyveillance to quickly identify malicious URL links and provide an increased level of protection to our customers. Using this intelligence, we will be able to alert our customers of dangerous tweets and links that may be exploiting their brand before they can create significant damage.'


The Web addresses in these Maltweets are very dangerous, posing the threat of a malicious file download to a computer without the user's knowledge. Once downloaded, the file may install hidden components on a computer, then attempt to execute malicious activity against the user, the user's computer or network resources. The malware could allow criminals to takeover the computer, use it as part of an illegal botnet, install dangerous root kits and even capture sensitive user information such as usernames, passwords and other personally identifiable information for the purpose of identity theft.
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