Malware hijacks Twitter accounts to send dangerous links

Trusteer has found malicious software that leverages Twitter to infect more computers

Twitter users in the Netherlands are being targeted by a piece of malware that hijacks their accounts, according to security vendor Trusteer.

The software vulnerability lies on the client computers of people using Twitter and not Twitter itself. Once a computer is infected, the malware injects JavaScript into the victim's browser when they're on their Twitter account page. The malware steals the user's authentication token, which allows it to make calls to Twitter's API (application programming interface) and post tweets.

Dana Tamir, Trusteer's director of product marketing, wrote that the malware had been used in the past to steal user credentials for financial accounts but has been modified for Twitter.

The malware tweets messages in Dutch such as "Our new King William will earn even more than Beatrix. Check his salary" and "Beyonce falls during the Super Bowl concert, very funny!!!!" along with links.

Although Trusteer said it did not follow the links, it is suspected the links are malicious and aimed at infecting new users. The links are shortened URLs, making it impossible to tell where the links lead.

Hackers will send malicious links to potential victims that, if followed, will land them on a website that tries to attack the person's web browser, looking for vulnerabilities in which to exploit and deliver malware.

"This attack is particularly difficult to defend against because it uses a new sophisticated approach to spear-phishing," Tamir wrote. "Twitter users follow accounts that they trust. Because the malware creates malicious tweets and sends them through a compromised account of a trusted person or organization being followed, the tweets seem to be genuine."

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesintrusionsecuritysocial networkingtwitterExploits / vulnerabilitiesinternetmalwareTrusteer

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?