Threats, Malware

Twitter link shortening service hit by pharma spammer

August 6, 2014
Experts have caught on to a pharma spam campaign that leverages Twitter's link shortening service to send users to pages touting bootleg drugs made in India. 

In a blog post by Andrew Conway, research analyst at Cloudmark, details a recent spike in malicious URL activity using the t.co service.

Using a sample of 1,200 t.co links between July 22 and July 29 reported to the Cloudmark Global Threat Network as spam, Conway discovered that a majority of the URLs redirected users two pharma landing pages. Additionally, the advertising techniques used for both were nearly identical, leading Conway to believe it was the work of a single spammer. 

Of the shortened URLs blacklisted by Cloudmark during this timeframe, a majority, 59 percent, belong to Twitter, and this spammer seems to be responsible for the bulk of those.
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