Twitter: June 2009 Archives

You've probably already seen what happened to Neda - it was inevitable that people with dubious intentions would seize upon this event as a cheap way to make some money.

Sure enough, we're seeing a fair few links starting to go out on Twitter that mention Neda, which (if clicked) will take the end-user to fake Codec installers. In other words, this...


...will lead to this:

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The danger, of course, is that with this being such an emotive issue many people might simply assume the links are genuinely about something and retweet them without checking first. Thankfully, seem to be catching a lot of these links:

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I had no idea they did that...
Given the furore over the new iPhone 3.0 OS hitting recently, it's no surprise that spammers are taking advantage of this on Twitter. Already, we've seen iPhone spam leading to high definition TV offers, and sure enough there's a fresh campaign now doing the rounds.

 If you see something like this:


...then it's a fair bet clicking the link will take you to a "male enhancement" website complete with pictures of men's bits that you'd probably rather not see in work or whatever:

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The URL in question is

Interestingly, aside from the usual deluge of spam profiles pimping the links, we've heard there are regular Twitter users complaining about being "hacked" and sending these same messages. In all probability, there's a phishing aspect to this particular campaign and that's why people are seeing these messages go out from their own accounts.

As a final note, the title of the spam appears to be taken from this article on MobileCrunch.

Be careful what you click...
A few days ago, I wrote about a cancer support blog:

...that kept popping up in Twitter links, always as a result of outrageously OTT spam messages. I did wonder at the time if the site owner had simply purchased an advertisement package that (unknown to them) involved mass Bot spam. Besides the possibility of potential Google Ad click fraud (and it's doubtful random visitors to a random cancer support blog would suddenly feel compelled to start clicking every Google ad in sight) I couldn't really work out the angle, although the URL clearly has a spammish twang to it.

Well, Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro went and double checked the site the other day and came back with some fresh information. I don't recall seeing this at the time so perhaps it's only just "gone live", so to speak. Or maybe I just missed it, who knows. Anyway...

Here's some more Twitter spam, with the now familiar OTT headlines:

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"Obama has just been killed", "Mousavi hilton has cancer" and "Stephen Colbert hit a woman" are all going to drag in the clicks from curious onlookers. They all take you to - you guessed it - the cancer support blog.

Cue Rik Ferguson, who found that at least some of the shortened URLs are apparently going through Tweetbucks and deposit you at the cancer blog via:

What is Tweetbucks?

When people click your TweetBucks shortened links, we convert them to affiliate-enabled links by referencing our database of 1000's of online merchant programs. Every time your recommendation results in a purchase, the online merchant pays a commission. So tell your followers about the products and services you like. The more you recommend, the more you can earn."

It seems someone is trying to earn some cash from dubious links on Twitter at Tweetbucks expense. From this page on Adbrite, we can see the cancer blog gets a fair amount of traffic at present:

Pageviews per day [?] :      Over 2,800
Unique users per day [?] :     Over 2,800 there is at least some potential for raking in a bit of cash with this one. We'll be notifying the various services who have adverts / PPC services on the site and see if we can reduce the amount of "dead world leader" spam currently clogging up Twitter. Thanks to Rik for the additional information!
Well, this is something you don't see everyday.

There's a fair amount of spambot profiles clogging up Twitter at the moment, all of which look a little like this and claim a British National Party leader has been shot and killed:


There's quite a few of them about, check out the Twitter Trends page.


Bizarrely, all of them take you to what looks like a genuine cancer support blog.

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I'd like to think the owner of such a site wouldn't be crazy enough to attempt to drive traffic using spambots in this very surreal fashion, so I can only hope they saw a "promote your site" package and it wasn't quite what they were expecting...

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Twitter category from June 2009.

Twitter: May 2009 is the previous archive.

Twitter: July 2009 is the next archive.

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