Mexican Twitter-Controlled Botnet Detected

Security researchers have discovered another botnet that uses Twitter as a command and control channel, The Register reports.

Malware-infected drones in the Mehika Twitter botnet take instructions from a Twitter account maintained by hackers instead of conventional command and control servers. The use of Twitter as a botnet command channel was first discovered in August 2009 before similar methods were used to abuse Facebook profiles as command channels  in November.

By leveraging social networks as alternative command channels, cyber criminals can gain a host of advantages, writes Trend Micro senior threat researcher Ranieri Romera. Using a social-networking site does not require installation, configuration, and command-and-control server management. Instead, posting messages in a specific account can immediately send out commands and instructions to zombies, he writes.

“It is also interesting to note that since social-networking sites have thousands or even millions of user profiles, locating a suspicious account is difficult, especially if cyber criminals take time out to cover their tracks,” Romera writes.

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