Social media is a big part of our life now. While not everyone is using these services, a lot of people are. And mainly they are divided into three big services. Those services are Facebook, Twitter and Google+. While MySpace used to be in the conversation it is not so much anymore. People left there in droves and they did not look back.
While these services are useful, they have their problems as well. There have been many malicious attacks that have come from these services. Black hat hackers see that they have an opportunity to attack the many people who use these web sites and they take advantage of it all of the time. Some of the attacks are simple while others are very complicated and are downright genius.
There is one type of attack in particular that was done on Twitter which caught the security world’s attention. While the attack itself was not the most complicated in the world, the idea was very good. The attack consists of the bad guys using the trending topics that are on twitter and then making domains out these topics. If you are not aware or do not use Twitter often, trending topics is when there are many people talking about a particular topic. When a keyword is used over and over again the keyword becomes a trending topic.
So the bad guys used the trending topic list to create a domain. They would then send a link to that domain over twitter and get people to click on it. The page in which they were lead to had some sort of attack vector to it. This type of attack has been used since 2009 and it has only grown over time.
You would think that an attack like this would be easy to stop but it isn’t. The attack takes into account that the domains would be shut down in a matter of hours so they accommodate for this. This means that they make so many that it is truly hard to shut down all of the attacks. And the attack itself has not only grown but it has evolved over time. The bad guys see what mistakes they have made to get shut down and they correct them.
You have to be careful when you are using social networks like Twitter. While you may go there for fun and games it is too easy to get caught up in the bad side if you are not careful.