Remove Twitter Phishing Scam — How to Protect Yourself

Remove Twitter Phishing Scam — How to Protect Yourself

This article has been created in order to explain to you what is the Twitter Phishing Scam and how you can remove them as well as all potentially unwanted programs delivered through them.

The Twitter Phishing Scam is a popular malware tactic that attempts to manipulate Twitter users into infecting themselves with viruses or disclosing their passwords. At the moment we do not have information about the perpetrators behind it. Our article gives an in-depth explanation of how it propagates and how victims can attempt to remove active infections.

Threat Summary

NameTwitter Phishing Scam
TypePhishing email scam
Short DescriptionThe Twitter Phishing Scam is a recent example of the scam tactic that extorts the targets into interacting with a scam site.
SymptomsVictims will receive email messages that contain the phishing instructions.
Distribution MethodPrimarily through Twitter messages.
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Twitter Phishing Scam.

Twitter Phishing Scam – Distribution Ways

The Twitter phishing scam is gaining momentum among the hacker tactics as many malicious actors have adopted it as an useful technique for gaining access to account credentials and delivery of malware. As Twitter is one of the most popular social networks it presents many possibilities for interaction. The users may either directly access it and through browsing come across the scam content or find it in a hacked or hacker-made account.

Twitter messages can come not only from registered profiles on the service but also as sponsored content. When the phishing attack is conducted through such mechanisms there are two possible causes. The first one is that the Twitter phishing scam content is produced and sent via deliberately made profiles. The second option is through hacked profiles — they can be hijacked by the same operators or acquired through the hacker underground markets. The criminal collectives frequently trade such information for profit.

Scam content can be embedded both in applications and links. This is the reason why there are numerous alternatives to the traditional campaigns that utilize phishing messages via the platform alone. A popular alternative is the coordination of SPAM email campaigns where the body content will include the relevant message. These emails can include elements that mask them as being sent directly by the company. Using the appropriate design and style many of them can confuse even experienced users.

Another technique is the creation of phishing web sites — they can impersonate any well-known Internet portal, vendor site or news media. By embedding the link in them or using various redirect elements the users will be lured into interacting with the scam. Web elements that can be for such purposes include pop-ups, banners, text links, ads and etc. The hacker operators can also post such sites in various communities such as forums, chat rooms and other social networks to boost them.

Twitter phishing scam messages can also be placed inside various infected payloads which is the same strategy used by viruses. Most of the messages are placed in malicious documents — upon interaction with their macros the Twitter message and its associated configuration will be run. The files can be any of the popular and most common types: presentations, rich text documents, spreadsheets and databases. When opened a notification prompt will be shown asking the users to enable the built-in content. If this is done the relevant Twitter message will be shown or a browser window will be opened that links directly to it.

The other method relies upon modifications of the application installers. The criminals will hijack the legitimate setup files of well-known software in order for them to display the Twitter phishing scam message during installation or after the apps are installed. The classic case is the inclusion of ransomware and Trojans.

In certain situations the hackers can also make use of browser hijackers — malicious web browser plugins that can be set into displaying Twitter messages upon installation. They are typically uploaded to the extension repositories of the most popular web browsers by using fake developer credentials and user reviews. The added descriptions promise great feature enhancements or performance optimizations. In reality when they are installed malicious code can be installed, settings can be changed and as a consequence the Twitter phishing scams will be shown.

Twitter Phishing Scam – In-Depth Overview

The Twitter phishing scam messages can produce a variety of malicious actions. The most forms are those that redirect the users to a fake login page. The landing pages may be those of a certain service or platform that the users might use. Depending on the body contents of the message the victims may think that they are accessing a Twitter service or a company web site. Some of the common scenarios are the following:

  • Bank Login Page — Through messages posted by fake profiles the users will be lured to a fake online banking page. The domains will usually have self-signed security certificates and other elements that are expected from such sites. However upon entering their account credentials on the page they will be automatically forwarded to the hacker operators.
  • Fake Software Offers — Twitter phishing scams can also lead to the distribution of malicious setup files. The accounts that post such messages may pose as vendors, review sites or recommendations by individual users which all praise the product. And while the applications may be real and legitimate solutions the hackers usually employ modified versions of the installers. The classic scheme is to take the setup files from the official download pages and embed malicious code into them. As a result during installation or after the target software has been placed on the computer to plant special malware that will display the Twitter scam messages. The delivered code can also manipulate the browsers into showing the message — either when they are opened up or when the Twitter service is engaged. This is a especially common with Twitter clients — special software used to interact with the social network
  • Sponsored Content — Several Twitter phishing scam messages can also redirect the users to ad and sponsor content. Every user interaction leads to income generation for the operators.

Whenever a Twitter phishing scam redirects the users to a hacker-controlled page additional threats can be delivered. A common example is the inclusion of tracking cookies & data harvesting scripts that are placed on the landing pages. They will harvest information that can be grouped into two main categories:

  • Personal Information — The module can harvest strings that can directly expose the identity of the hackers: their real name, location and any stored account credentials. By obtaining them they will be able to blackmail the victims or use them in criminal activity such as identity theft and financial abuse.
  • Campaign Metrics — This data type is used by the operators to analyze how successful the campaigns are with the current configuration. Such information is usually a list of the installed hardware components in the machine and specific operating system values. They are all used to identify each individual target and assign an unique identifier.

The web pages can serve as conduits for all kinds of malicious threats. A popular example is the recent wave of cryptocurrency miners. They can be either delivered as stand-alone applications or JavaScript code that is executed directly in the browsers. They take advantage of the available system resources by executing complex mathematical tasks. Whenever one of them is reported to the servers the operators will receive funds in the form of cryptocurrency.

Twitter Phishing Scam #1 — The Cryptocurrency Offer

A recent example is the creation of several fake accounts belonging to celebrities advertising giveaways in cryptocurrency. Many victims fell to an Elon Musk scam spread on the Twitter social network. The account advertises a link to a phishing site that shows a Bitcoin address. They are prompted to send a payment as “proof of verification” of their wallets. However they will not receive the promised funds in return. The profile can be boosted further by being shared by other scam accounts (or hijacked ones).

Twitter Phishing Scam #2 — Free Game Credits

Scam accounts on Twitter that are created by hackers also make use of impatient gamers. Many of the popular mobile and MMORPG games depend on micro-transactions as a business model and frequently the vendors will offer various promotions and giveaways. The criminals will pretend to be the game company or a popular game that will offer “free” in-game currency.

The users will be prompted to access a shortened URL address, in the majority of cases this will lead to a fake login page. The landing page will be customized to appear as a game verification prompts or the game developer page itself.

An alternative approach is to offer them game updates or enhancements that will, one way or another, be advertised as the way to receive the credits. In many cases they are virus files or other malware.

Remove Twitter Phishing Scam from Windows and Your Browser

If you want to remove the Twitter Phishing Scam from your computer, we strongly suggest that you follow the removal instructions posted underneath this article. They have been created with the main idea In mind to help you delete this virus either manually or automatically. Be advised that according to experts the best way to try and remove the software that is causing the Twitter Phishing Scamming pop-ups is to use an advanced anti-malware software. Such program is created with the idea in mind to fully scan your computer and try to eliminate any traces of unwanted programs while protecting your computer against future infections as well.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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