Spammers Intensify Attacks against Twitter Users

Panda Security has discovered a wave of attacks on Twitter that uses links and malicious software to infect computer. They also include the exploitation of current news such as "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert, the Air France crash, etc.

In one of the attack campaigns, spammers have utilized 'Mobile Crunch' article with subject "20 things to check out in iPhone 3.0" to make victims. They have created bogus Twitter e-mail accounts and posted Twitter message that takes users to a website advertising male enhancement items.

The plan is to display a pop-up message on the screen when any user searches for information about Apple's iPhone, a top trending topic of Twitter on June 17, 2009. Just before a day (June 16, 2009), Apple launched iPhone 3.0 in the market. spammers are trying to exploit the intense interest in the controversial Iranian election.

Sean-Paul Correll, Panda Labs Threat Researcher, says that spammers have been consistently targeting Twitter users by sending thousands of malicious messages (tweets) containing words that are associated with trending topics, as reported by CNN on June 22, 2009.

Moreover, security experts have said that the increasing sophistication of malicious attacks indicate to the rising threat and cash generated by online crime. Cyber crime is estimated to have cost consumers and companies over $100 Billion across the world.

Eugene Spafford, Computer Security Expert, Purdue University (US), states that it is very seldom that when a company discovers an attack, it doesn't disclose to the public, as reported by CNN on June 22, 2009.

Besides, it has been found that old fashioned spammers are sending fake invitations to computer users to join 'Twitter' that attempts to deceive victims into planting malevolent invitation card. In fact, this card is a .zip file that contains a worm program. According to Dermot Harnett, an analyst at Symantec, his company identified the scam in May 2009, as reported by PCWorld on June 18, 2009.

Commenting on this, some security experts said that with increasing usage of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the number of attacks had substantially risen. Hence, users should be extremely careful while working on social networking sites.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

» SPAMfighter News - 29-06-2009

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