New Twitter Worm Promises to Tell You Who Unfollowed You


A new Twitter worm is spreading quickly this morning by pretending to tell users who has unfollowed them. Through using this kind of smart social engineering (who wouldn’t want to know who these ungrateful people are?), this rogue Twitter app gains access to a user’s account by using Twitter’s standard authentication mechanism. The worm also attaches terms to every one of these tweets that are currently trending on Twitter, ensuring these messages get seen by an even wider audience.

A typical example of these scam tweets looks like this:

9 people have unfollowed me, find out how many have unfollowed you: [URL] #duringsexplease #youneedanasswhoopin

Graham Cluley at security firm Sophos took a closer look at the inner workings of this worm. Instead of telling users who unfollowed them (a service that some reputable companies actually offer), the service just brings up a typical online survey that pretends to offer users the chance to win a free iPad 2 or Gucci shopping spree. The scammers then, as Cluley notes, make money each time one of these surveys  is completed (probably because they can harvest confirmed email addresses this way).

If you fell for this scam for some reason, head over to your Twitter account, click on Settings -> Connections and revoke access to the app. The worm uses different names for the “service,” but the most common are “App Services,” Follow Finder” and “Data Machine.”


Image credit: Sophos

8:10 am

Afraid the Government is Spying on You Online? You're Not Alone [Infographic]


Today is Data Privacy Day and the good folks at Opera used this as a chance to commission a survey of 1,000 web users each in the U.S., Japan and Russia and ask them about how worried they are about online privacy.

In the U.S. – far more so than in Russia and Japan – Internet users tend to think that the government has too much insight into their online behavior (35%). Surprisingly, only 9% are worried about what search engines know about them (guess most people never check their Web History page on Google) and 5% think shopping sites are the worst offenders here. When it comes to social networking sites, 15% of U.S. Internet users and a whopping 38% of Russians think these sites know too much about them.

In the U.S., the majority of users (54%) also feel that they themselves are responsible for their online safety and privacy. About a quarter of U.S. Internet users thinks the ISPs and other companies operating on the web should ensure their privacy and 10% think the government should be in charge.

To protect themselves, most use antivirus software (80%) and safe passwords. Interestingly, 47% say that they regularly delete their surfing history to ensure their online privacy, which generally doesn’t do much good when it comes to being tracked online.

Around 15% of U.S. Internet users also claims to just use sites and software that does not collect information. We can only assume that these users just use DuckDuckGo as their search engine and have never encountered a cookie online…

11:26 am