Even Twitter Gets Phished!

January 5, 2009 at 10:31 am 1 comment

 Even Twitter, the current poster child of social networking (www.twitter.com), is involved with identity theft! With 4-5 million users by the end of 2008 (with 70% of them signing up just in 2008) it is actually surprising that it has not happened before. But this time phishing tweets caught such celebs as Fox news Bill O’Reilly (questioning his sexuality), Britney Spears (questioning her nautiness), and CNN anchor, Rick Sanchez (questioning his drug use) as hackers posted incorrect tweets allegedly from them.

Over the first weekend in January, Tweeters were hit with a classic phishing scam. They were sent a direct message urging them to take a look at a funny blog about themselves. When they clicked on the link, it took them to what appeared to be the real twitter page (very nice likeness) which required them to sign in to their twitter account (first clue!). Of course, had they looked at the real link, it was not going to the real twitter site, but to a bogus one. Once they entered their information, they were giving out their usernames and passwords to the hackers. The hackers then proceeded to use this information to send out direct messages to all those people’s followers and so on and so forth as the scam grew and grew and more and more passwords were stolen.

This is classic phising at it’s best! While people seemed to catch on fairly quickly, the damage was done as more and more people went to the bogus site and gave out their passwords. The easy fix was for everyone to change their password, and the scam slowed down. But because not everyone changed their passwords, the phishing scam raised it’s ugly head again! What’s the simple remedy? Before you give out your password, always check the url to make sure that you are aimed at a correct website. Very simple, but when you are tweeting and involved in social networking, it is not something that you would normally do. With the increase in social networking sites, maybe it is something that people should do!

My twitter: Candace_OLBooks. Also check out The Little Book of Identity Theft at   http://www.ourlittlebooks.com/educational.html.

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