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Perimeter

Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
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4/11/2009
09:26 PM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
Security Insights
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StalkDaily Attack Hits Twitter Users

If anyone was in any doubt that social networks are the new battleground for cybercriminals, then just log in to Twitter right now. The hugely popular micro-blogging network is overrun with warnings about messages referring to a website called StalkDaily.com, said to be spreading through compromised Twitter accounts.

If anyone was in any doubt that social networks are the new battleground for cybercriminals, then just log in to Twitter right now. The hugely popular micro-blogging network is overrun with warnings about messages referring to a website called StalkDaily.com, said to be spreading through compromised Twitter accounts.Thousands of Twitter users have warned their friends online not to click on links to StalkDaily.com - some unwittingly repeating the website url and potentially leading to more infections. If there is anyone reading this who is in any doubt - do not visit that website.

Affected Twitter users have been posting status updates with messages such as "Dude, www.StalkDaily.com is awesome. What's the fuss?" and "Virus!? What? www.StalkDaily.com is legit!"

Clearly that last message is designed to undermine the genuine efforts to warn other Twitter users of the danger of visiting the suspicious link. Of course, the owners of those compromised accounts probably don't realise that their accounts are being abused in this way.

Here is a brief video I made to illustrate the attack:

We'll probably learn more soon about the details of this attack, but for now Twitter has responded by shutting down the @StalkDaily profile, claiming it has shown suspicious activity, and has reset passwords of Twitter users who it believes have been hit. It appears, so far, that the outbreak is no longer spreading.

If you or an associate believes that they may have been affected by this latest attack, don't just change your Twitter password - make sure you change your credentials on any other site where you may have been using the same password. Although we cannot tell for certain yet whether passwords have been compromised in this incident, maybe this actually would be a good time to learn to never use the same password on different websites?

Of course, this isn't the first time that Twitter users have suffered an attack. Last month, fans of the popular micro-blogging site, were barraged with messages being sent from compromised accounts trying to drive traffic to a pornographic website called ChatWebCamFree.

Update: According to this blog by Damon Cortesi, an additional script was being inserted into users' profiles alongside the StalkDaily link, which meant that you could become an infected just by viewing an infected users' details.

That's a good reason to control scripting with plugins such as NoScript for Firefox if ever I heard one..

Meanwhile, it is being reported that a 17-year-old youth from Brooklyn has admitted responsibility for the attack. His motive? Boredom.

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.

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