Worm hits popular Chinese Twitter-like service

Sina Weibo reports the worm, which appeared on Tuesday, was quickly stopped

A popular Twitter-like service in China with 140 million users was hit by a worm earlier this week that resembles past attacks that infected Twitter and MySpace, according to a security analyst.

Sina Weibo, a microblog service in China, said the worm first appeared on Tuesday night at 8:20 p.m. Beijing time. Affected posts displayed a malicious link with enticing messages like "Move a woman's heart with 100 lines of poetry" or "Software to listen to other people's phones." When the link was clicked, the user's own account would re-post and send out private messages circulating the malicious link again.

Sina reported in a post to users on Wednesday that the worm had been stopped on the same night at 9:25 p.m. The problem stemmed from a flaw in the web pages that the worm could exploit.

Sina said it reported the matter to the public security and that it will take further steps to improve the safety of its social networking service.

Zhao Wei, CEO of Chinese security company Knownsec, said the worm was of a type that has affected many other social networking sites by exploiting cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. "Before, different kinds of worms have appeared on large social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace" he said. Other Chinese social networking sites have also been victims, he said.

In 2009, Twitter was hit with the "StalkDaily" worm created by a 17-year-old. The worm created thousands of spam messages on the site by getting users to click on a malicious link. Lack of attention to security resulted in these worm attacks from occurring, Zhao said. In the case of Sina's social networking site, only tens of thousands of microblog users were affected, Zhao estimated.

Sina Weibo is one of China's largest Twitter-like services, and has become a hot new destination for the country's Internet users, which number at 457 million, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecuritysocial networkingSina CorpExploits / vulnerabilitiesinternet

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.

Michael Kan

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?