Several Hacked Twitter Accounts Put for Sale

Costin Raiu, Director of security firm Kaspersky Labs, stated that hijacked accounts on Twitter are being sold quickly on cybercriminal forums based in Russia, with criminals paying $100-$200 for sets of 1,000 such hacked accounts, depending upon the number of accounts' followers, as per the news published by technologyreview.in on May 13, 2010.

Raiu informed that the method of acquiring account details and displaying harmful URLs on Twitter is becoming increasingly common, and has been increasing since March 2010. Criminals have identified that social networking websites can be exploited very effectively for their malicious needs, as per the news published by pc1news.com on May 13, 2010.

In several cases, the buyers are doing a profitable trade by selling rogue antivirus products or forged antivirus through tweets disseminated through these accounts.

Only one efficiently hijacked tweet from the Twitter account of a reliable user can yield serious consequences, particularly if the fake tweet is send further to other users. Usually, around 10%-20% of users click on a link coming from a reliable source.

No precise numbers of hacked accounts are known. But on the basis of available facts, it can be stated that since accounts are provided in groups of 1,000, almost several thousand, or even more, might be put for sale across the world, reported pc1news.com on May 13, 2010.

Twitter has almost 75 Million users, out of which 10-15 Million send tweets on a regular basis. It can lead to extensive malware infection on the microblogging site, Twitter.

As a result of this malevolent scam, Twitter recommends users to change their password if they sense any illegal use of their account. It also suggests users to tweet safely. The firm didn't respond instantly to a query about the Russian black market or the number of hacked accounts.

Finally, this finding by Kaspersky Lab comes one month (April 2010) after reports of Facebook facing same kind of problems. Verisign's iDefense Labs stated that it had discovered a site peddling 1.5 Million hacked Facebook accounts, offering them for $25 every 1,000 accounts with ten friends and $45 per 1,000 accounts that have in excess of 10 friends.

Related article: Several Haxdoor Variants Impose Harmful Behavior

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