Twitter, having recorded a massive 422% growth in traffic in the span of 12 months, is the current darling of Web 2.0 enthusiasts. The downside: its popularity is now also being taken advantage of for malicious purposes. No surprises there.
Fake profiles are proliferating in the micro-blogging site, initially annoying legitimate users with follower notifications. Such notifications could lead users to check out the spammy profiles out of curiosity.
Twitter, besides being a micro-blogging tool, is also a social networking site. But unlike more popular sites, Twitter relationships are designed to allow one-sided affairs: a user may add someone to be able to view that person’s mini-blog, but that person doesn’t really have to return the favor of ‘following’. However, many users may have taken to doing so without really thinking it over, thus opening the door to more annoyances and, ultimately, to more serious Web threats.
Twitter fans have already taken it to themselves to help out through Twitter Blacklist and Twitter Twerp Scan. Twitter itself also has already hired additional staff dedicated to controlling the problem.
Twitter is not the only social networking site being exploited by cybercrooks. Other popular sites experienced similar problems in the past too:
Users are advised to be careful in adding to one’s list of friends unknown people or profiles online. While social networking may be about that, security issues should be kept in mind whenever one browses online sites.