Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/24/twitter_doctorow_scammed/

Twishers reel in 'distracted' Boing Boing blogger

Hook, (coffee) line, and sinker

By Dan Goodin

Posted in Security, 24th February 2010 20:22 GMT

Add prominent blogger Cory Doctorow to the list of people successfully phished by a new Twitter worm that's making the rounds.

The co-editor of Boing Boing surrendered his Twitter password to scammers after receiving a direct message from one of his contacts that included little more than the text "This you????" and a shortened web address.

"I think the primary prerequisite for this kind of phishing attack is that the target be distracted," Doctorow wrote in fessing up to the goof. "I was in the line at the coffee shop, I had a new phone that didn't have my stored passwords in its browser (so I wasn't surprised to be prompted for a password), and I had a little screen that didn't prominently display the URL I was on."

Once a mark falls for the come-on, the worm commandeers the Twitter account and sends the same direct message to all of his followers, according to analysis from Trend Micro. That gives the attack a viral nature, since each successful phish results in ever more attempts.

Doctorow said he "realized immediately what had happened" and changed his password within five minutes.

The "this you?" scam has been spreading since last weekend and prompted a warning from the micro-blogging site on Sunday. The ongoing attacks are designed to harvest Twitter login details for later misuse in spam and identity theft-based attacks.

The website hosting at least some of the phishing pages was kevanshome.org, according to a video posted by Sophos. It's not the first time the people behind that domain have been implicated in a Twitter scam. ®