Scam Targetting Social Networking Goers: Twitter and Rogue Antivirus

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  • Twitter Trend Topics directing users to dangerous sites
  • Avoid clicking any content containing or
  • ESET recommends running a system scan and a PC restart

Twitter - one of the most widely-used social networking sites faces attacks of rogue-antivirus products and social engineering. The scammers are entering en-masse their Twitter statuses using keywords, such as "Twitterbest "and "Zasaden" in effect elevating the URLs to the so-called Twitter Trend Topics – the most frequently used terms. These are then connected to rogue links, usually containing a "catchy" phrase, such as one referring to pornographic content.

By clicking a link, affiliated with the status keyword ( or, the user is directed to fake websites containing malicious code. ESET urges its clients to refrain from clicking these sites as they typically urge the visitor to consent with a utility update, such as a Flash player or contain some other malicious application. Upon consenting with the download, the malicious software becomes installed and the user receives a false notice of an infiltration in his/her computer. Subsequently, an offer to download a "Fast Anti-Virus 2009" appears.

According to Juraj Malcho, the head of ESET VirusLab, "Rogue- Antivirus solutions and other forms of malicious application present a danger because they can lure significant amount of money from an unskilled user. Moreover, this form of malware tends to employ pesky dialog boxes, which are a drag on productivity".

Even as recently as a year ago, ESET experts have in numerous articles predicted the increase of the so-called rogue Antivirus solutions. To those ESET clients who encounter this form of threat, we recommend to carry out an in-depth scan of the PC without a delay, followed by a system restart.

Twitter statuses directing users to malicious sites:


About ESET

Founded in 1992, ESET is a global provider of security solutions forenterprises and consumers. ESET is a market leader in proactivedetection of malware. Thanks to its ThreatSense.Net® technology, it isable to collect data on a volunteer basis from users all around theworld, allowing it to react flexibly to emerging threats. It‘s ESETNOD32 Antivirus has been ranked by the independent AV-Comparativestesting lab as the best antivirus product worldwide (2006, 2007). ESEThas offices in Bratislava, SK; San Diego, USA; Prague, Czech Republic;Buenos Aires, Argentina; and has an extensive partner network in 160countries. In 2008, ESET has opened a new research center in Krakow,Poland. ESET was named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 one of thefastest-growing technology companies in the region of Europe, MiddleEast and Africa.