Big Celebs Hit By Twitter Phishing Attack

    January 5, 2009

Twitter users, take heed: now might be an excellent time to check your Twitter posts for embarrassing messages, and no, we’re not talking whatever might have resulted from your New Year’s Eve celebrations.  Instead, such messages seem to be the result of a new and almost astonishingly effective phishing scam.

With the words "safety first" in mind, here’s what Biz Stone, Twitter’s cofounder, suggested on the corporate blog: "If you receive a direct message or a direct message email notification that redirects to what looks like – don’t sign in.  Look closely at the URL because it could be a scam."

Twitter Phishing
 Phishing With Twitter

Should events like these already be in your past, resetting your password is the recommended next step.

And here’s why this is important: the Twitter accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Britney Spears, Facebook, Fox News, and Stephen Fry were all hijacked in the last day or so, and it stands to reason that many lower-profile accounts suffered the same fate.  Even "DougCaverly," which does nothing but collect dust, got three suspicious new (and now-suspended) followers over the weekend.

The good news is that the phishers don’t seem to have caused any real damage.  Tweets implying that various individuals are drug-addicted and/or crazy is about as bad as it’s gotten.  So go take a look-see at your Twitter history, consider changing your password, and don’t declare 2009 the year of evil hackers just yet.