Twitter riddled with worms and scams (again)

Who will stop the madness?


Multiple new versions of the Mikeyy cross-site scripting worm spread across the Twitter micro-blogging network over the weekend.

The first in the latest batch of worms berated Twitter for poor security. Mikeyy Mooney, the VXer who got a job in security days after creating the first Twitter XSS worm over the Easter holiday weekend, has confessed to creating this worm too.

A second worm, which began spreading on Friday, referenced Twitter users with a large number of followers (such as @oprah, Oprah Winfrey, and @aplus, Ashton Kutcher) and came from compromised accounts that also referenced the increasingly annoying Mikeyy.

On Saturday (18 April) two more Mikeyy-type worms appeared, this time in the guise of Tweets from compromised accounts, featuring philosophical musings and the word "womp". The second worm of the day screwed with infected profiles, changing the title of the profile to "Mikey and the Mysterious Treqz", as explained in a blog posting by F-Secure here.

Twitter, not before time, suspended Mikeyy Mooney's profile over the weekend, and this might be be the 17 year-old's reaction, although this has not been confirmed.

Security researchers, who criticise Twitter for its apparent inability to de-worm its site, advise users to turn off scripting (or use Firefox extension NoScript) when viewing users' profiles in order to avoid getting caught out by the malware.

"Once again, Twitter is left looking amateurish in its response as it clearly hasn't properly hardened its systems from these kind of cross-site scripting attacks," writes Graham Cluley, senior security consultant at anti-virus firm Sophos.

Monday brought yet more security problems for Twitter with the spread of messages promoting TheSmartEcard.com, a site linked to online scams. Twitter itself describes the issue as a "scam/phishing" problem unrelated to malware. It adds that the messages were sent via compromised accounts, which it is in the process of suspending. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    We'll see you around the Block

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022