Twitter users are reporting receiving direct messages (DMs) from other members of the network, cheekily asking if it is them who is pictured in a photo, video or mentioned in a blog post.
Various versions of the dangerous messages include:
is this you in the video?
is this you in this picture?
check this out... it's a funny blog post. you're mentioned in it.
Clicking on the link attached to the message can take you to what appears, at first glance, to be the Twitter login page.
But take a closer look, and you’ll see that the website isn’t the real twitter.com. The url is wrong.
If you make the mistake of entering your username and password on the page, in the hope of seeing the picture or video or blog post about you, then you could be handing your login credentials to cybercriminals. They could then use the information to spread scams further across the network, spam out malicious links or use the passwords against other websites where you might use the same login details.
Del Harvey, who runs Twitter’s Safety team, says that Twitter is resetting the passwords of users who it believes have been hit by the phishing attack.
We're resetting passwords for affected users; here's the help page to check out about what you should do. http://t.co/PaIUMhA
— Del Harvey (@delbius) July 9, 2011
If you use the same password in multiple places, it only takes one password to be stolen for fraudsters to be able to gain access to your other accounts and steal information for financial gain.
It’s also important that you don’t use a word from the dictionary as your password. It’s easy to understand why computer users pick dictionary words as they’re much easier to remember, but as I explain in this video a good trick is to pick a sentence and just use the first letter of every word to make up your password.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/VYzguTdOmmU&w=500&h=311&rel=0]
Password security is becoming more important than ever. Make sure that you’re taking the issue seriously, or suffer the consequences.
But, if you found your Twitter account was one of those sending out the phishing messages, you shouldn’t just change your password and consider if you are using the same password elsewhere. You should also visit the Applications tab in “Account Settings”, and revoke access for any third-party application that you don’t recognise.
Follow me on Twitter if you want to keep up-to-speed with the latest threats, and learn how to protect yourself.