Feeds

British Gas Twitter account hijacked by mystery phishermen

Login cred-stealing scammers get in, mayhem ensues

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

An official British Gas Twitter account was hacked over the weekend as part of a phishing scam designed to harvest Twitter login credentials.

The account @BritishGasHelp, which is normally geared towards helping people with boiler breakdowns and other queries, was taken over to push a series of ostensibly jokey tweets.

The messages featuring text such as "lamo u got 2 see this, its awesome" contained links that posed as a Twitter login page. In reality, surfers were being led towards a phishing site designed to steal Twitter userIDs and password for subsequent misuse.

Victims would have found their Twitter accounts hijacked by spammers and scammers – just like the British Gas Help profile was.

Fortunately British Gas quickly recovered control of the compromised account, deleting the dodgy update and issuing a warning about the scam.

A blog post by veteran security watcher Graham Cluley features screenshots of the dodgy updates before they were expunged.

@BritishGasHelp is a verified account – but that little blue tick only guards against impostors without safeguarding against account takeovers or other forms of hacking.

The incident illustrates the utility of using two factor authentication to reduce the risk of Twitter profiles being hijacked. Such hijackings are all too common and the range of motives can range from political (account hijacks against media organisations by the Syrian Electronic Army) and profit driven (a hack against the Twitter profile of former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan to push dodgy weight-loss pills) to pure devilment. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.