Twitter Phishing Expedition Widens

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You’ve been hacked! Unfortunately, you may not even have known it. Until someone asks you about your direct message to them where you mentioned that you have been having ‘better sex’ and for ‘longer’ followed by a link to some other site.

Bait & Click

TwitterYes, you’re being baited to go check out the tweet, perhaps thinking that this follower of yours is personally interested in getting to know you a bit more intimately. But if you fall for the ruse you could end up giving away your password, perhaps more.

Known as the ‘better sex’ phishing attack, this latest hit against Twitter underscores that phishers are hard at work trying to tap various social networking sites in order to access your personal information. Besides swiping your Twitter or other social media site password, malware is placed on your computer and can operate there undetected unless you run a program such as Spybot Search & Destroy to find it out.

U.K. Minister

There is a humorous side to this latest attack, namely if someone says that you’ve been sending out naughty messages, then you likely were drawn to and clicked on a dirty message in the first place. On Feb. 26, 2010, CNET.com reported that the U.K. Secretary of state for energy, Ed Milliband’s Twitter account had been sending out messages to followers about his virility. But that could only have happened if Mr. Milliband decided to check out something he shouldn’t have online. Whoops!

Twitter users having been sending private, even public apologies for getting caught up in this latest phishgin attack. Milliband posted a public tweet shortly after realizing what happened saying, “Oh dear it seems like I’ve fallen victim to Twitter’s latest ‘phishing’ scam.”

Protect Yourself

If you suspect you have been phished, then responding ASAP is important. That means notifying Twitter, Facebook or whoever that your account has been compromised. You may be able to wrest it away from the intruder yourself, but if they’ve changed your password you’ll need someone to intervene on your behalf.

You should also check your computer for malware, spyware, worms, trojans and viruses. Update and run your virus software, but also plan to run a separate program to look for pests.

Spybot Search & Destroy is a freeware program as are HiJack This and ComboFix. Paid programs include MalwareBytes Anti-Malware and Super AntiSpyware. Lifehacker has a very good review about these programs including what they do, how you can download them, and their cost.

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