Mikeyy Worms Its Way Through Twitter

    April 13, 2009
    Chris Crum

Update: A seventeen-year-old kid has taken credit for the worm creation.

Original Article: Early Saturday morning, four Twitter accounts were started and began spreading a worm being referred to as Mikeyy throughout the social network. Reports suggest that when users go to the profile page of a user who is infected, their "About me" section is altered to include a link to a malicious site, which I won’t name here.

Twitter was able to take care of the first round of attacks on Saturday morning, but more kept coming throughout the weekend. They have been dealing with them in real time since then, and they haven’t stopped.

"We are still reviewing all the details, cleaning up, and we remain on alert," says Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. "Every time we battle an attack, we evaluate our web coding practices to learn how we can do better to prevent them in the future. We will conduct a full review of the weekend activities. Everything from how it happened, how we reacted, and preventative measures will be covered."

Stone compares the worm to one that has plagued MySpace in the past. The Samy worm spread across that social network, and its creator was ultimately prosecuted by MySpace.

Right now, the latest update on Twitter’s Status blog from four hours prior to this writing says, "We are currently addressing a new manifestation of the worm attack." In another post, Twitter suggested that people use third party apps to communicate with the service for the time being.

Two hours ago, a tweet from Twitter’s Spam Watch account looked like this:

Mikeyy Tweet

Heavy Twitter users are going to want to keep up with the latest updates. Places to keep track of this include, Twitter’s status blog, the spam watch account, and Twitter’s official blog. Twitter makes it very clear that no passwords, phone numbers, or other sensitive information have been compromised.

The worm comes as a potentially damaging blow as Twitter continues to snowball in popularity. It will be interesting to see if reports about Mikeyy impede the growth rate at all.