Heres some great news about micro-blogging site Twitter that I think many people had been waiting months to hear –
The popular social site has now begun filtering links that lead to well-known malware sites.
This change was noted by security researchers on Monday but thus far I have not seen any official confirmation from Twitter themselves.
The new tactic has been put into place in order to prevent users of the service from accidentally finding themselves on sites that contain malware or other suspect programs or exploits.
Twitter has probably been pushed into taking such action because of a number of attacks which have targeted the site recently.
For example –
Twitter Hack Highlights Need For Password Variety
Koobface Virus Migrates From Facebook To Twitter
Another Day, Another Scam On Twitter
Hijacked Twitter Accounts Lead To Rogue Antivirus Downloads
Mikeyy, Twitter And Searching Tell You All You Need To Know About Fake Anti-Virus Products
What Every Twitter User Needs To Know About StalkDaily
Security Alert : Phishing Attempt On Twitter
– to name just a few.
Part of the problem on Twitter is, ironically, the limit of 140 characters allowed for each message.
This has led to the widespread use of URL shortening services in order to save valuable character spaces but also allows malicious links to be disguised.
Twitter messages (which can be no longer than 140 characters) makes it easy to hide the true destination of links.
Costin Raiu, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, has suggested that Twitter is using Google’s Safe Browsing API, saying “It won’t catch everything but is definitively a step forward.”