Hijacked Twitter Accounts Lead To Rogue Antivirus Downloads

Everyone who uses Twitter needs to be aware of a new style of attack which has been reported on the service recently.

This new Twitter attack would appear to be infecting users of the social networking site with a fake antivirus download.


Kaspersky researcher Roel Schouwenberg recently suggested that the attacks may be related to a bout of phishing attempts recently seen on the site.

He suggested that the compromised accounts were the same ones that were being used to post a video through which an attack could be launched.

In a recent blog post Schouwenberg wrote,

“This attack is very significant.

It would seem that at least one criminal group is now exploring the distribution of for-profit on Twitter,

If the trends we’ve seen on other social platforms are any indicator for Twitter then we can only expect an increase in attacks.”

The video in question contains the words ‘best video’ and links to an external domain.

If a Twitter user should happen to click on the link then they will be taken to a fake video page which then launches a script attack in the background.

If successful, the script will install and launch a PDF file which actually contains a malware payload.

Unlike most attacks, this Trojan will not initiate the host computer into it’s welcoming botnet, or attempt to destroy any data.

Instead it will install a fake antivirus program known asĀ  ‘System Security.’

As with other fake antivirus products this one will alert the user to the presence of all sorts of malware that is not really there in the hope that it can scare them into buying a questionable product as the solution.

To their credit, Twitter have said that they are suspended accounts linked to this issue.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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