Hypponen observes that the latest worm attack uses the bit.ly URL shortening service to redirect victims to an infected profile. URL shortening services like bit.ly have been criticized recently for various reasons, one of which is the security implications of disguised URLs.
Last month, Secure Science researchers Lance James and Eric Wastl said Twitter was vulnerable to a serious XSS vulnerability that could allow an attacker to hijack users' accounts or, in conjunction with other exploit code, compromise their computers.
The Twitter worm that struck over the weekend appears to make use of a different XSS vulnerability. Its code has been posted on GitHub, a collaborative programming code repository.
A post on the Secure Science blog warns that the viral effect of social networks magnifies the impact of viral computer code. "[W]hen vulnerabilities are found such as cross-site scripting, this viral effect may be easily abused and produce a detrimental outcome such as infecting account holders and possibly crashing the social network," the company said.
According to online news site BNOnews.com, a 17-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., identified as Mikeyy Mooney, claimed responsibility for creating the Twitter worm to drive traffic to his Web site, StalkDaily.com.
A request for comment sent to StalkDaily.com was not answered.
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