Twitter – Hackers Find A New Marketplace

Twitter – Hackers Find A New Marketplace

So it seems the murky world of internet cyber crime and hacking has taken on a new and interesting dimension. On Sunday, British comic actor and director Simon Pegg became the latest high profile celebrity to have their twitter account hacked.

The hackers posted a tweet offering Pegg’s 1.2 million followers the chance to download a free screensaver for one of his recent films, ‘Paul’. However the screensaver.exe file being offered to followers, contained a Trojan horse, which Sophos (an award-winning developer of security software and hardware) identified as Troj/VBBanker-A.

The ‘Shaun of The Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Spaced’ star tweeted that he had not posted the screensaver and warned fans of the malware threat. The incident continues the recent trend of celebrity twitter account hacks, which include such A-list stars as Ashton Kutcher, Axl Rose and Britney Spears.

These attacks highlight the importance of not downloading unknown content. The problem is though, in this age where social media is so embedded in modern life, what to trust, and what not to trust. What hackers have identified is, that they can tap into the massive amount of followers celebrities have on twitter and other such social media platforms like facebook.

I have a feeling that this issue won’t go away. Take for example this scenario: Your favourite pop artist is offering free concert tickets on their twitter account. Is this a genuine marketing ploy? Is this an offer of goodwill from the artist to their fans? Or, is this a malicious tweet from someone who’s attacked their account? Click on that link at your own risk…

This incident also highlights the requirement for organisations to have an appropriate social media governance policy. Let’s face it, we all use social media at work. But organisations must insure they mitigate the risks of staff downloading such potentially dangerous material. Help is at hand though. IT Governance offers a free demo of its Social Media Governance Toolkit here.