Feeds

Twitter adds filter to cut phishing lines

Every twt.tl bit helps

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Twitter has tightened up security procedures in order to curtail phishing attacks against users of the micro-blogging service, which have become rampant over recent weeks.

Bogus (normally direct) messages have invited users to log into counterfeit Twitter sites, and hand over login credentials in the process. Compromised accounts have subsequently been harnessed to send spamvertise penis pill sites and the like, much to the embarrassment of victims of the ruse, including cabinet minister Ed Miliband, online bank First Direct and many other less prominent marks.

Twitter is hoping to curtail such attacks by routing direct messages submitted to Twitter via new URL service twt.tl, which will maintain a blacklist of URLs associated with phishing attacks, as explained in a blog posting on Tuesday.

We’re launching a new service to protect users that strikes a major blow against phishing and other deceitful attacks. By routing all links submitted to Twitter through this new service, we can detect, intercept, and prevent the spread of bad links across all of Twitter. Even if a bad link is already sent out in an email notification and somebody clicks on it, we'll be able keep that user safe.

Since these attacks occur primarily on Direct Messages and email notifications about Direct Messages, this is where we have focused our initial efforts. For the most part, you will not notice this feature because it works behind the scenes but you may notice links shortened to twt.tl in Direct Messages and email notifications.

Social networking spam and malware attacks rose 70 per cent last year, according to net security firm Sophos. Facebook and Twitter, in particular, have become prime targets for Web 2.0 spammers. A video by Sophos illustrates the mechanics of recent Twitter phishing attacks.

Such attacks are serious not just because of the nuisance and potential embarrassment they cause on Twitter but because many users reuse their Twitter login credentials on more sensitive webmail and online banking accounts, which are therefore left open to attack if micro-blogging passwords become compromised. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.