Twitter contains second worm in a week

Twitter was hit with a second worm over the weekend but again quickly fixed the vulnerability

Twitter has put a stop to a worm that posted obscene messages to victims' Twitter feeds. It's the second worm attack the site has suffered in a week.

Those whose accounts became infected with the worm would see a message posted on their Twitter account that read in part "WTF:" followed by a URL, according to a blog post from Sophos, a security vendor.

If someone clicked on the link, their profile would also be hijacked, reposting the same link and increasing the chance that one of their followers would click on it and spread the worm.

Sophos wrote that the worm used a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) technique in order to post to someone's account. In a CSRF attack, a Web application is tricked into honoring a request from a malicious Web site.

The attack was invisible to those who clicked on the link. "All the user sees if they visit the link is a blank page, but behind the scenes it has sent messages to Twitter to post from your account," wrote Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

Twitter wrote on its status blog on Sunday that "a malicious link is making the rounds that will post a tweet to your account when clicked on. Twitter has disabled the link, and is currently resolving the issue."

It the second time in a week Twitter has been hit with an attack as the result of a flaw in the site's coding.Last week it closed a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw that could allow an attacker to steal data. Some of those who picked up on it wrote proof-of-concept code that combined JavaScript with the "onmouseover" function, which would launched a pop-up window. The problem was quickly fixed by Twitter.

Send news tips and comments to

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecuritysocial networkingtwitterExploits / vulnerabilitiesinternet

More about Sophos

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jeremy Kirk

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts