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Miscreants have launched an aggressive phishing attack that aims to dupe the unwary into handing over their login credentials for the microblogging service.

Dubious accounts are being used to seed the tvviter.com phishing campaign, which starts when followers of a targeted subscriber post a message in the form "check this guy out [followed by a tinyurl address]".

Twits who follow this link will find themselves at Twitter phishing site tvviter.com (registered last week), where they are invited to hand over their login credentials.

The name of the site has been carefully chosen so that at first glance it looks like the real Twitter.com site. The bogus site also copies the look and feel of the real site.

Another possible Twitter phishing site - www. tweet.ro - has also come online within recent days, Mikko Hypponen of F-secure adds. Users are also advised to avoid entering their username and password there.

A video of the Twitter phishing attack in action, created by Graham Cluley of Sophos, can be found here. More background on the attack can be found in a blog posting by Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro here, which explains that the scam is apparently aimed at making a fast buck through referrals to pornographic websites.

"If anyone is duped into handing over their account credentials, in addition to opening up their account to abuse, they will find that several new followers appear on their account," Ferguson writes. "On following links to these profiles, their immediate purpose appears to be to redirect to adult dating sites, making the scammers money in the process through a pay-per-click affiliate scheme." ®

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