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Twitter swatted by gittery

Hack is widespread
Tue Sep 21 2010, 14:35

A FLAW in the Twitter software is affecting thousands of users and their microblogs.

Security firms from far and wide are pointing out the issue, which is called 'onmouseover', and warning anyone that will listen to be careful when on Twitter, and for crying out loud, not to hover their mouse over an unexpected link.

Should you find your mouse icon straying over one of these miscreant links you could find yourself plunged into a pop-up-ocalypse, or worse - sending your followers in the direction of porn websites.

According to the insecurity experts at Sophos, Sarah Brown, the wife of the former British Prime Minister Gordon, is currently in the business of recommending a particular and rather unsafe for work Japanese adult website, and she is just one of thousands of victims.

Sophos said that the severity of the attacks varies greatly, but shows potential for causing real harm.

"It seems many users are currently using the flaw for fun and games, but there is obviously the potential for cybercriminals to redirect users to third-party websites containing malicious code, or for spam advertising pop-ups to be displayed," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Some users are also exploiting the loophole to create tweets that contain blocks of colour (known as rainbow tweets). Because these messages can hide their true content, it might prove hard for some users to resist clicking on them. Hopefully Twitter will shut down this loophole as soon as possible."

The problem is so widespread already that the smart advice is to avoid Twitter itself and make your fascinating posts via other applications.

Twitter has not commented on the issue on its official pages, and indeed the last post on its website has the title 'A Better Twitter'.

We can think of a nice alliterative re-edit of this for a follow-up post, but we doubt it'll make it past Twitter's censors. µ



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