I did a quick check on Twitter this morning and I saw lots of direct messages (or DM's) with the same type of wording - which always sets off phishing or virus alarms for me. I NEVER click on those links and neither should anyone else!
Phishing is defined on Wikipedia as " the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication". A computer virus is defined on Wikipedia as "A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, adware, and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. "
So I decided to see who else was having this issue by sending out a Tweet (without any links!) - and I received lots of replies by my followers that also received those DM's. "This You" is trending on Twitter!
Mashable posted on the topic. I did not follow any short URL's - but went to the Mashable website to find the post: http://mashable.com/2010/02/24/this-you-phishing-attack/
Here are some examples of what the Twitter direct messages look like. Remember - DON''T click on the links or else you will spread the virus to your followers!!
Twitter DM text: "haha. This you???? (PHISHING LINK)", "This you???? (PHISHING LINK)".
Clicking on the link does what Graham Cluley's post explained "If you click on the link you are taken to a fake Twitter login page, where hackers are just waiting for you to hand over your credentials. In fact, they can automatically post the phishing message from your account as soon as you hand over your details."
Unfortunately, several of my followers clicked on that link and their accounts were taken over - which is why I received the DM.
Enjoy Twitter but stay safe, never click on links unless it is from a trusted source. Think before you click on any links from followers via a reply or a direct message to you. The signs are usually there so keep an eye out: phishing and viruses attacks regularly try to sneak into our online world.
Here is a post I did on another phishing incident: "Dear Phisher: You Are A SCAT and NOT Wells Fargo" http://www.techmamas.com/main/2009/01/computer-phisher-wells-fargo-.html
Here is a link to the Anti-Phishing Working Group website: http://www.antiphishing.org/Update 2/25:
Malware and spam rise 70% on social networks, security report reveals"