WTF? Twitter gets the goat as viral message spreads

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Twitter has responded rapidly to shut down a new worm, which spread vulgar messages from many affected users’ accounts saying they err.. were fond of goats.

Some high profile Twitter users, including Robert Scoble, fell foul of the attack. Of course, having such popular Twitter users affected accelerated the spread of the message.

The messages read (look away now if you’re of a nervous disposition):

Users found their accounts were posting the message of goat romance after they clicked on links reading:

WTF: <link>

Clicking on the WTF link would take you to a webpage which contained some trivial code which used a CSRF (cross-site request forgery) technique to automatically post from the visitor’s Twitter account.

All the user sees if they visit the link is a blank page, but behind the scenes it has sent messages to Twitter to post from your account. The messages obviously couldn’t be sent if you weren’t logged into Twitter at the…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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