Feeds

Twitter adds filter to cut phishing lines

Every twt.tl bit helps

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.