Last weekend Twitter was apologising for accidentally suspending a number of user accounts due to human error. Now it is suspending accounts again, but this time there is no error: Twitter is getting serious about malware.
In a status posting on Thursday July 9th, Twitter admitted that it had come under attack from Koobface malware which works by sending bogus tweets from infected users' PCs to further distribute itself. "We are currently suspending all accounts that we detect sending such bogus tweets" twitter stated, adding "If we suspend your account, we will send you an email notifying you of the suspension. This email also includes tips for removing the malware from your PC."
Koobface will, of course, be familiar territory to Facebook and MySpace users after it first invaded the social network space last year with messages proclaiming such things as 'Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street.'
Now the Twitterverse is getting a taste of the Koobface menace, and although the actual messages being tweeted do vary a common thread seems to be the 'see my private home video' line according to security researchers. Some have even resorted to using the death of Michael Jackson to try and lure people into clicking through to what they think are video clips but which will actually just infect their computers with Koobface. The fact that the message is coming from someone who you follow, who belongs to your network of Twitter friends, makes it more likely for people to drop their guard and click through. Hence the suspension action by Twitter management in an effort to nip the infection in the bud before it can spread too far.
It has not been the greatest of weeks for Twitter users, first we were subjected to the hashtag spam flood that came by way of the moonfruit marketing campaign which was so intrusive that we asked will moonfruit destroy Twitter? It looks like the powers that be got the message because the campaign was apparently cut short as moonfruit dropped like a brick from topping the trending list to nowhere to be seen in short order after, it would seem, Twitter management took th decision to filter the moonfruit hashtag from trending stats.