Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
What's This?
6/9/2009
08:55 AM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
Security Insights
50%
50%

Microbloggers: Beware Of Dangerous Twitter-Growth Websites

Fueled by hype generated by celebrity devotees like Oprah, Ashton Kutcher, and Stephen Fry, it seems like everyone is jumping on board the Twitter train.

Fueled by hype generated by celebrity devotees like Oprah, Ashton Kutcher, and Stephen Fry, it seems like everyone is jumping on board the Twitter train.Of course, once you're using Twitter, the first move you'll want to make is to follow some people (perhaps friends, family, or a couple of celebs) and hope that some of them will follow you back.

Third-party Websites like Twittercounter and Twitterholic can even help you see how you compare in popularity with your fellow Twitter users, or tell you whether you're the most followed Twitter addict in your town.

But if someone promised they could guarantee you hundreds of new followers on Twitter every day, would you believe him? Would you be prepared to enter your Twitter username and password on a third-party site, effectively giving it to a complete stranger?

That's the trap many Twitter users fell into this past weekend, as the following video demonstrates:

Off the rails: Twitter, passwords and Twittertrain from SophosLabs on Vimeo.

Having handed over their account details, hundreds and hundreds of Twitter users started spamming the following message from their accounts, directing even more traffic to the site:

OMG WOW Im getting 100s of followers a day. Check out this site http://twittertrain.net

The truth is, you are playing Russian roulette every time you give your username and password to a third-party Website. Their promises of magically getting you more genuine followers on the microblogging network are likely to be little more than snake oil.

Twittertrain isn't the last Website to try and tempt you into handing over your password, and it won't be the last. Ultimately, it's your responsibility to ensure you never give your username and password to anyone -- or next time, it could be you endangering the safety of other users.

Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his other blog on the Sophos website you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-12777
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A function in Combodo iTop contains a vulnerability of Broken Access Control, which allows unauthorized attacker to inject command and disclose system information.
CVE-2020-12778
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop does not validate inputted parameters, attackers can inject malicious commands and launch XSS attack.
CVE-2020-12779
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop contains a stored Cross-site Scripting vulnerability, which can be attacked by uploading file with malicious script.
CVE-2020-12780
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A security misconfiguration exists in Combodo iTop, which can expose sensitive information.
CVE-2020-12781
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop contains a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability, attackers can execute specific commands via malicious site request forgery.