Twitter's Fail Whale Gets Some Competition

Twitter phishing scam attacks via direct messages

By Sajid Farooq
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 5:02 PM PDT
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Twitter's Fail Whale Gets Some Competition

Twitter

Twitter's Fail Whale is not the only problem Twitter is having these days.

Twitter's Fail Whale is being phished in a new way. The icon we love to hate -- a cartoonish whale displayed when the microblogging site is out of service -- is no longer the lone symbol for what's fishy about Twitter.

The San Francisco-based social networking site has been caught in the midst of a phishing scam that plays off of the shortened urls that Twitter followers love so much.

A group of "Twitterers" told the New York Times they have made the mistake of clicking on a strange direct message they received that turns out to lead to a  virus.

“A bit o’phishing going on — if you get a weird direct message, don’t click on it and certainly don’t give your login creds!” Twitter wrote on its own feed.

The scam works by sending a direct message that says something along the lines of "lol is that you in here?" or “rofl this you on here,” and once the users clicks on the message they are taken to a link that more than crashes their Twitterfeed, it brings the Fail Whale to your PC.

Twitter is working on the problem and it has recent experience dealing with troublemakers that should have prepared its developers well. Users are meanwhile being encouraged to not be stupid and to keep their virus scans up to date.

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