Cyber Criminals Hide Malicious Web-links with Twitter API

According to a news published in The Register on November 12, 2009, it has been found that drive-by exploit authors are utilizing a well-known command on Twitter for diverting surfers to malevolent websites so that their deceitful act remains obscure.

Twitter, the micro-blogging website, provides this kind of API (Application Programming Interface) so that authorized websites may associate with the current subjects tweeted without any difficulty. However, it has been noted that cyber criminals are now using the API for producing keywords whose numbers never seem to end.

Denis Sinegubko, an independent security investigator, has stated that the miscreants are appending the API to highly disguised codes that redirect users after being injected into compromised Internet sites. The codes that divert victims to malware serving websites, which target un-patched security flaws in applications like Apple's QuickTime, utilize an ongoing topic's second letter to create a secret program, which actually is a chief component for finding the contents of the domain, as reported by The Register on November 12, 2003.

Further, it has been noticed that malware is distributed by creating shortened URLs on Twitter that craftily conceal the original site address prior to users clicking on the web-link. Consequently, suspicious links easily escape the filtering systems. Twitter, which scans around 500,000 URLs daily, finds that about 100-1,000 URLs/day harbor malware, as reported by Wired.

Last summer, Twitter started employing a filtering mechanism developed by Google called Safe Browsing API to spot vicious URLs. This filter, however, detects only those URLs that are shortened with Bit.ly, the most widely used and default URL condensing utility on Twitter. Other utilities for shortening URLs apparently don't get detected via Twitter's filter.

Meantime, security company Kaspersky extensively examined web-links placed on the widely accepted micro-blogging utility, Twitter and discovered that users of the site were helping, though unknowingly, in disseminating the malicious URLs that got placed on Twitter.com.

Security researchers warned users of Twitter and the remaining social networks that they must maintain caution while clicking on links so that they could easily host malware which could be difficult to detect.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

» SPAMfighter News - 23-11-2009

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