Application security, Threat Management, Vulnerability Management

Trio of celebrity Twitter accounts hacked to serve spam

Twitter accounts belonging to at least three celebrity personalities were compromised earlier this month to dispense spam, according to researchers.

A Malwarebytes blog post on Thursday reported that the verified Twitter accounts of Denise Crosby, an actress on Star Trek: The Next Generation; Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of the MTV show Sweet/Vicious; and BBC presenter Alex Jones were all recently discovered hacked.

Crosby's Twitter page was advertising pornographic dating links, Kaytin's was sending viewers to a Tumblr redirect that led to dating spam, and Jones' was offering discount Ray-Ban sunglasses. Combined, these unauthorized tweets reached an audience of nearly 260,000 followers.

“They're all well-known actresses and TV hosts, and word spread across Twitter quickly via their large follower base,” said Christopher Boyd, malware intelligence analyst and blog post author at Malwarebytes, in an email interview with SC Media. Boyd said the actual compromises occurred on Jan. 13.

The fact that these celebrity accounts are all officially verified by Twitter – meaning their pages contain a green check mark indicating that they have been authenticated as themselves, not impostors – could lure followers into a false sense of security when they view a post containing a link, Malwarebytes reported. This “could have been disastrous if the links had contained malicious files. Thankfully, these links were 'just' porn spam and sunglasses,” Boyd wrote in his blog post.

Twitter declined to comment for the story.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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