Earlier this year, it was widely reported that the Twitter accounts of prominent American figures ranging from Britney Spears to President Barack Obama were hacked, causing fake tweet’ to be displayed under the victims’ accounts.
With the recent hacking of Twitter account holder Guy Kawasaki, former Apple fellow and managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, The New New Internet asks, is Twitter safe?
The Twitter account of Kawasaki displayed the words: “Leighton Meester sex tape video free download!”
The link did not display Leighton Messter, a star on the teen TV series “Gossip Girl,” but lead viewers to a fake porn site where Trojan horses were installed to those who clicked on Kawasaki’s tweet. Ironically, the malware effects both Window and Mac computers. The porn site has already been clicked by more than 1,600 followers of Kawasaki and when infected, the computer begins to disobey commands and download all personal information deemed valuable, according to PC World.
How Kawasaki’s Twitter site was hacked is unknown but phishing, where cyber criminals trick victims into logging on fake Twitter sites to steal logins and passwords, is suspected. Twitter and other social-networking sites have increasingly fallen victim to malware. The reason is simple, as explained by Rik Ferguson, a Trend Micro researcher: “If you can take over an account that has a couple of thousand follower then you can get a much better return on your investment.”
It is not currently illegal to sell or produce malware, making prosecuting cyber criminals virtually impossible. Maybe that scheduled Twitter maintenance update, postponed last week at the request of the U.S. Department of State so as not to disrupt Iranian protests, was more important for the social networking site than first thought.