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News

Twitter spam contain ad site redirects

Sophos : 10 March, 2009  (Technical Article)
Sophos warns of messages concerning free web-cams being distributed on Twitter containing links to adult advertising web sites
IT security and control firm Sophos is advising Twitter users to be vigilant as approximately 750 accounts on the popular micro-blogging site have been hit by yet another hack attack. Experts at SophosLabs found that inappropriate messages were being sent from compromised accounts in an effort to drive traffic to a pornographic website, Chatwebcamfree.

The messages, which are being spammed out as Tweets, contain a chat invitation alonside a link to a website for free web cams.

However, the index page of this website serves up obfuscated JavaScript that loads a variety of pornographic adverts and contains a web form directed to a site.

'If a hacker has managed to ascertain your Twitter password then there is a chance that they may have also compromised your system in other ways too,' warned Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. 'We're seeing more and more attacks from spammers, phishers, malware authors, scammers and identity thieves against users of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook - similar adult webcam messages were spotted on Facebook just last month. These aren't just proof-of-concept attacks in controlled conditions - they're everyday full-blooded assaults making money out of real people.'

'Any Twitter users who find that they have unwittingly posted messages like this would be wise to change their Twitter password immediately,' advised Cluley. 'Furthermore, if you use that password on any other non-Twitter account then you must also change those passwords too in order to keep your online website accounts secure. Best practice shows that the most secure passwords are not known dictionary words - it's a much better idea to use a combination of numbers and characters.'

Twitter has confirmed that it has now reset the passwords of all compromised accounts which should cease the tidal wave of spam messages for the time being.

Mystery currently surrounds how the criminals compromised the Twitter accounts. Sophos recommends that all affected users should scan their computers with an up-to-date anti-virus product, and think carefully about their password security.
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