The history of spamming will tell us that popular stories or hot-off-the-press news is gold for spammers. In recent activities discovered by security researchers, spammers are using the popular Iran election stores and news about Apple's newest iPhone 3.0 software or iPhone 3GS release to flood Twitter with misleading tweets.
No doubt that Twitter and the iPhone are some of the most talked about "things" of this year. Many times cyber criminals will uses these "popular items" to their advantage and that is just what they are doing.
Spammers are sending out a slew of Twitter messages that say things like, "iPhone OS 3.0 Just Launched. Here are 20 Things To Do With It". In addition, Twitter messages similar to this, are being posted by hacked Twitter accounts. The messages are apparently popping up when the popular search terms related to the iPhone is entered. Then they message may redirect you to a malicious site that may ultimately prompt the download of a .Zip file that contains malware.
Not only is the iPhone topic raiding Twitter messages by hackers, but the spammers are using the Iranian election as a popular topic to gain attention and increase the chances that unsuspecting computer users clicking on their tweet.
Is this anything new?
Nothing about these tactics is really new except for the new news topics used by the spammers lately. The use of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have risen to unprecedented levels even so to the point of abuse by hackers and spammers is common nature. Even so, some companies are restricting or banning the use of popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook due to the fact that they are the culprit of spreading new viruses which could harm corporate networks.
To top it off, fake invitations to join Twitter are being sent out by spammers as well. The possibilities are almost endless for these hackers if something isn't done very soon. Both Twitter and Facebook are aware of various threats that could spread malware and they have already advised users to use caution and have provided a page to report spam messages or senders on.
Have you been the victim of a spam message on Twitter of Facebook that used a popular new story to get your attention?