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British Gas Twitter account is compromised by phishing scam

If you happened to browse over to the British Gas Help Twitter account yesterday – which is unlikely, but you never know – then you may have seen some rather strange tweets pop up, which were part of a phishing attack.

Security expert Graham Cluley (opens in new tab) spotted the tweets, which included comments like "I'm laughing so much right now at this", and "haha this tweet by you is cool," which clearly indicated that the account had been compromised.

British Gas then announced (opens in new tab) on the account: "We are aware our Twitter account has been compromised. Please delete any spam tweets you have received. Sorry for the inconvenience."

The messages were quickly removed.

The "haha" and "lol" type tweets posted also contained a shortened link that led to what appeared to be the official Twitter site telling the user that their session had ended, and to log back in. Of course, this was a fake site – as an examination of the URL would reveal – and if you did log back in, you gave the phishers your account and password on a plate.

Unless, as Cluley points out, you had two-factor authentication enabled – which is always a good idea where it's available, just for better general security. We've got a full guide on how to set this up on Twitter (opens in new tab), and indeed the guide covers two-step authentication on many different websites which offer it. This is something which is well worth taking the time to sort out.

Darren Allan
Contributor

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.