Hackers and spammers have been wreaking havoc on Twitter by infiltrating various user accounts. Among the accounts affected are the ones belonging to Playstation, Xbox Support, and The Red Cross. For now, it remains a bit unclear as to what has happened, but several spam messages were sent to the Twitter world in quick succession.
Social Media Remains A Critical Weakness For Companies
For the affected companies, this new development is anything but positive. Once an account is associated with spamming other users, things quickly go from bad to worse. Events started to unfold in the night between Friday and Saturday of the third week in November, and all affected accounts used very similar tactics to spread their message.
As one would come to expect from spam campaigns, the majority of messages broadcasted revolved around ways to gain more Twitter followers. This is a rather strange turn of events, but by breaching popular Twitter accounts, the spammers will have gotten their message through to a gigantic audience. Even The New Yorker, Viacom, and The Next Web Twitter accounts were used in this attack.
The investigation is still ongoing, but there is no trace of who may be behind this spam campaign. Moreover, the bigger question is how the spammers even obtained access to these accounts, as it is a big mystery for the time being. One thing all of the affected accounts have in common is how messages were spread through a Dutch software company, called Twitter Counter.
This seems to indicate that the vulnerability itself lies with the Dutch company, rather than the individual accounts themselves. Third-party services providing analytical data are needed, but Twitter Counter also lets users log in to their own accounts. If this method has been abused, it would explain why spam messages were sent through these particular accounts.
Over the past few years, there has been a mounting number of Twitter account shenanigans. Users either get hacked or impersonated, or their account is compromised through some third-party service provider. Spam campaigns are not as common on the social media platform, but that won’t stop criminals from trying to spread their message.
Decentralized social media platforms may hold the answer to solving a lot of security problems. Since there would be no central server or third-party to hack, users would remain in full control of their profiles. If the individual user gets hacked, however, chaos will still ensue, but it would certainly limit the number of attack vectors for criminals to abuse.
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