Twitter and Celebrities Hit by More Mikeyy Worms

 
 
By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2009-04-20 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OPINION: It's a sign of how vulnerable some of our systems are and how weak rule enforcement is that Mikeyy is still abusing Twitter users today. And other malefactors are getting in on his act.

Mikey Mooney, author of the Twitter worm, released another one Saturday night, according to security software firm F-Secure.

After the first round of Twitter worms he created a week ago Mikeyy, as he was known on Twitter, said he did it out of boredom, but that he wouldn't be upset to get a job out of the whole episode. Before very long he actually did get hired by exqSoft Solutions, a custom Web applications development company. He also got hacked, revealing many of his usernames and passwords among other details.

Was that enough for Mikeyy? It would seem not, according to F-Secure. I'm not sure how they know he's actually doing it and not someone using his name, but it looks like a new variant of the Mikeyy worm is out. The name of the user's bio is changed to "Mikeyy" and the title of the profile to "Mikey and the Mysterious Treqz." The variant also runs some hostile scripts that appear still to be up as of Monday morning.

It then sends out these, and more messages:

  • Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home. Womp. mikeyy.
  • If you are born ugly blame your parents, if you died ugly blame your doctor. Womp. mikeyy.
  • Every man should marry. After all, happiness is not the only thing in life. Womp. mikeyy.
At the same time Trend Micro is reporting that other malicious actors are taking advantage of public interest in Twitter worms to spread malicious links.

Google searches for "Twitter worm" and "Mikeyy" are being poisoned with links to malicious software. Their analysis indicates that the malware causes a series of downloader programs to execute, which then download and install further malware.

Other reports, such as this one on Mashable, indicate that Mikeyy, or a Mikeyy-like worm, is sending messages to celebrities. This shows one way that the phenomenon could get much worse: by getting a very popular user like Oprah or Lance Armstrong infected. Some popular users have hundreds of thousands of followers, and such an infection would be a serious crisis for Twitter.

Once again, if you see one of these messages, don't click on the profile or any links in the message. It's also probably a good idea to use a third-party Twitter app than the Website now, although that's no guarantee of safety.

Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983.

 


 
 
 
 
Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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