Feeds

Spammers joyride Doctor Who's Twitter TARDIS, turn man into Shirley Temple

Won't someone please think of the children poor celebs?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Yet another Doctor Who star's Twitter account has been hijacked to tout dodgy diet pills: this time it's Colin Baker, who played the sixth incarnation of the hero time lord.

Baker's @SawbonesHex account was taken for a joyride just a fortnight after the Twitter feed of actress Karen Gillan, who played Doctor Who companion Amy Pond, was hacked to punt the same acai berry spam*.

The former curly-haired Doctor managed to seize control of his account hours after the rogue tweets appeared in the early hours of Sunday. He apologised to his 32,000 followers for the snafu, which resulted in the distribution of spam messages promoting a pill-flogging site.

"I've finally worked out how to reset my password so you shouldn't be inundated with weight loss garbage on Twitter," the ex-star of the long-running hit BBC sci-fi saga said.

It's unclear how the hack was pulled off. Christopher Boyd, a senior threat researcher at GFI Software, was among the first to spot all was not well with the @SawbonesHex feed. Twit feed compromises can happened to anyone, not just celebs, but there are a number of sensible precautions that might be taken to guard against attack.

"It’s not that long ago since Karen Gillen had her Twitter feed compromised, and in fact the scam appears to be almost identical," Boyd explained.

"Be wary of app installs, and do be careful whenever you’re asked for login details (at least one Doctor Who fan has mentioned being sent to the same sort of ads via rogue DMs). If you’re unsure, physically type the Twitter.com URL into your browser to be on the safe side."

A blog post by Boyd featuring screenshots of the dodgy updates can be found here. The Reg security desk isn't sure who is behind the apparent spate of attacks against the TARDIS-riding actors but reckons the Adipose can safely be ruled out as potential suspects.

In related hijacking news, a US man claims his Twitter account was hijacked, renamed and turned into a feed purporting to belong to Hollywood actresses Shirley Temple for a week. Once the account had gained 10,000 followers, the feed was suddenly used to offer love-making enhancement pills and work-from-home scams.

Michael Wellington has now regained control of his account @mjwellington6, which still has more than 8,000 followers. He can thank various celebrities, including Toy Story 3 Director Lee Unkrich for believing the @TempleShirleyJ profile was genuine and endorsing it to tens of thousands of fans.

Boyd has more on the frankly weird tale here. ®

Bootnote

* Pills derived from acai berries supposedly allow people to shed weight without dieting or exercise, a claim rubbished by health experts.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.