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Twitter diet spam splurge blamed on Gawker compromise

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Compromised Twitter accounts are being abused to post spam messages promoting a diet website.

Tens of thousands of messages promoting an acai berries diet website appeared on Sunday, prompting speculation that a worm was spreading across the micro-blogging service.

However, it seems the spam fest was not caused by twits tricked into visiting a maliciously constructed website. Rather it seems that the compromised Twitter accounts promoting the spam messages were hit as a result of last weekend's Gawker compromise.

Exposed users made the mistake of using the same login credentials for both Gawker and Twitter. The attack illustrates the importance of using different login credentials on different websites, as well as the common sense approach of using hard-to-guess passwords.

Twitter has begun pushing password resets to affected accounts. The micro-blogging service blames the snafu on the Gawker compromise and bad password security rather than anything under its direct control.

A posse of anonymous hackers raided Gawker late last week, making off with password files and chat logs. This weakly encrypted information was deciphered and posted as a torrent, which spammers quickly seized and abused for their own nefarious purposes.

Gnosis, the group who claimed the Gawker hack, made repeated references to online spats between Anonymous and Gawker Media, a long-running dispute that seems to have motivated the latest attack. ®

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