Home Editor's News Twitter DM protection bypassed with new attack vector

Twitter DM protection bypassed with new attack vector

January 23, 2014 | Posted by Dan Raywood

A new Twitter spam campaign has been detected, which gets around safety blocks within the direct messaging (DM) functionality.


According to Malwarebytes researcher Christopher Boyd, the tactic sees attackers compromise legitimate accounts and send links to Tweets posted by spam profiles / other compromised accounts, rather than send a direct URL.


“They are compromising legitimate accounts then sending links to Tweets posted by spam profiles/other compromised accounts. The linked Tweet will then send the end-user to the desired spam page,” Boyd said.


He claimed that users are sent to pages, and in one case it was a diet tips page, and it was possible that there are other URLs being used in this particular campaign.


He recommended implementing two-factor authentication, considering the length and strength of your password and adding two-step security to the email address tied to your Twitter account, too.


He said: “Yes, you should be two-stepping all over your email account too. You’re trying to make yourself as hard a target as possible with endless, hoop-jumping layers of security for the would-be thief to throw up their hands and go “eh whatever, next target please.”


Commenting, Carl Leonard, senior manager of Websense Security Labs told IT Security Guru this is a case of attackers trying to get around the controls put in place and get past the obstacles that present a barrier.


“The blocking of URLs in Twitter DMs was implemented in October 2013 as a result of a chief executive receiving a DM with a malicious URL in it,” he said. “We are still seeing scams on Twitter which are after credentials, while we see typosquats that collect details. With any social network we see scams and malicious efforts across the board, as attackers are constantly trying to get past the barriers.”


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