It seems that Twitter has managed to come out relatively unscratched after a self replicating worm infected thousands of its users over the weekend.
The worm was designed to prompt Twitter users to click on a link promoting the site StalkDaily.com and if the linked was clicked infected users started to automatically send out request messages to their friends to promote the site.
Though the worm did not cause any related damages or compromised any confidential information, it did had the potential to cause considerable harm.
Elaborating on the topic Mikko H Hypponen, the chief research officer at the security firm F- Secure mentions “It would have been simple to integrate a web browser exploit into this so that you could have done anything you wanted to the infected computer, including recording all keyboard strokes and capturing credit card details.”
Incidentally Twitter has deleted over ten thousand messages or tweets that could have potentially continue to spread the worm.
It is interesting to note that the worm was the handiwork of Michael Mooney, a seventeen year old student from Brooklyn, New York who claims to have designed the worm to expose the vulnerabilities in Twitter and never thought that it would receive so much attention.
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Yet another security scare for the social networking phenomenon that is Twitter. The microblogging company has had some other security issues earlier this year and it is unlikely to be the last. With the number of users expected to rise significantly in the forthcoming months, Twitter will be attracting some unwanted attention from hackers and criminals who will be more than interested in the social engineering aspect of the service.