Stephen Fry victim to Twitter phishing attacks

The growing popularity of Twitter is making it more of a target for cyber criminals out to make profit.

Twitter is the latest social networking website to be hit by phishing attacks, with celebrity Stephen Fry one of the victims.

Reports have claimed that thousands of Twitter users are receiving direct messages from friends inviting them to click on unknown links, with lures including the ability to win an Apple iPhone or a link to funny pictures among others.

Writer, TV star and regular Twitter poster Stephen Fry was one such victim, who clicked on one of these links without realising that it would lead to a fake Twitter website asking for login details and passwords.

According to his tweets, he received 20 new phishing direct messages offering free iPhones. He said: "Lawks. Hope I haven't been phished for all my details. Clicked on scam URL last night before I knew what it was. Eeek."

Experts have said that having hacked into Twitter accounts, criminals could use compromised details to send even more spam messages out. It could also be used to extract money from the legitimate account holder.

Generally phishers prefer compromised accounts over newly-created accounts as they are less likely to be stopped by anti-spam techniques.

"Twitter users who may have lost control of their accounts need to change their passwords as a matter of priority before more harm is done," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Compromised social networking accounts valuable for hackers as they can use them for a springboard for spam campaigns, identity theft attacks and other online crime."

The IT PRO Twitter news feed is available here.

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