Micro-blogging site Twitter attacked

2009-04-14 00:00

Online social networking site Twitter went through a flutter over the weekend when a viral “worm” accessed and spread through Twitter user accounts.

It seems the website has scrubbed itself clean of the virus, but questions remain on whether it is vulnerable to further attacks.

Early on Saturday, April 11, the Mikeyy worm started to spread via Twitter posts by encouraging users to click on a link to StalkDaily.com — a rival website. By clicking on the link, a user’s account would be infected and begin to send out similar messages encouraging followers to visit StalkDaily.

The Mikeyy worm, created by 17-year-old Michael Mooney, was the cause of the chaos early on Saturday morning.

Michael admitted to Net News Daily that he authored the worm and said: “I feel pretty bad about it, but it’s not me that left the vulnerability out in the open”.

While it seems that Twitter has stomped out the Mikeyy worm, it is unclear whether it is still vulnerable to this kind of attack. Twitter says it is conducting “a full review of the weekend activities”, and that “everything from how it happened, how [it] reacted, and preventative measures will be covered”.

However, Twitter has yet to say whether this type of attack can happen again or why such a common exploit was left vulnerable in the first place.

Twitter bosses have not commented on whether they will file lawsuits against Michael, but did refer to the 2007 Samy worm that plagued MySpace.

Twitter notes that “MySpace filed a lawsuit against the virus creator, which resulted in a felony charge and sentencing” and Twitter reiterates that it “takes security very seriously” and “will be following up on all fronts”.

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