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Monday, 22 April 2013 13:18

New Twitter malware out

Written by Nick Farrell



Man in the browser attack

Security outfit Trusteer has recently identified an active configuration of TorRAT targeting Twitter users. The malware launches a Man-in-the-Browser (MitB) attack through the browser of infected PCs, gaining access to the victim’s Twitter account to create malicious tweets.

Dana Tamir, Enterprise Security Director for Trusteer the malware, which has been used as a financial malware to gain access to user credentials and target their financial transactions, now has a new goal: to spread malware using the online social networking service. At this time the attack is targeting the Dutch market. But since Twitter is used by millions of users around the world, this type of attack can be used to target any market and any industry.

The attack is carried out by injecting Javascript code into the victim’s Twitter account page. The malware collects the user’s authentication token, which enables it to make authorized calls to Twitter's APIs, and then posts new, malicious tweets on behalf of the victim.

Tamir said that the attack is particularly difficult to defend against because it uses a new sophisticated approach to spear-phishing. Twitter users follow accounts that they trust. Because the malware creates malicious tweets and sends them through a compromised account of a trusted person or organization being followed, the tweets seem to be genuine. The fact that the tweets include shortened URLs is not concerning: Twitter limits the number of characters in a message, so followers expect to get interesting news bits in the form of a short text message followed by a shortened URL. However, a shortened URL can be used to disguises the underlying URL address, so that followers have no way of knowing if the link is suspicious.

Nick Farrell

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