Twitter may be a potential target for cybercriminals looking to spread malicious links.


Carl Leonard, EMEA threat research manager at Websense, claimed that as Twitter is a communications tool there is the potential for cybercriminals to use it to spread malware via malicious links.


Leonard said: “You can post user-generated content and sometimes a long URL will be shortened by Twitter by fitting it into the maximum 14 character window.


“When the number of followers is large, there is the potential to spread a malicious link as there are a greater number of targets. As this is a very popular site that allows user generated content, cybercriminals are aware of it and will use it to their advantage.”


Twitter was identified as ‘a developing threat as its uptake spreads into the corporate world so the number of attacks through this medium rose' in the Websense Security Labs State of Internet Security for Q3-Q4 2008.


With the Koobface worm attacking social networking sites in August and November 2008, Websense claimed that ‘growing exploitation of these sites is expected to continue'.