Twitter phishing hack hits thousands of users

Thousands of Twitter users have seen their accounts hijacked after a viral phishing attack which sends out messages saying “this you??” or “hey, i’ve been having better sex and longer with this here” and other sex-related “direct” messages.

Among those who fell victim were the BBC correspondent Nick Higham and the Guardian’s head of audio Matt Wells.

The purpose of the attack, which began early on Thursday morning, is initially to draw people to the sites that hijack the accounts, and possibly install malware able to steal passwords on the user’s computer. Another purpose may be simple identity theft: because people often use the same passwords and usernames on multiple services, getting access to one service can provide access to others too.

Twitter users are advised to follow Twitter safety account, which provides advice when such scams are spreading.

Account-shortening services such as can block dangerous links, but only after they are alerted to them. The other option is to inspect the link before clicking on it – which the Twitter web page and Tweetdeck, a cross-platform program, do allow.

Spam and phishing attacks are a continual problem for Twitter, which is comparatively easy to join.


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