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Promoted tweet phish fiddle

By John Leyden, 31 Oct 2016

Crooks have served up what's reckoned to be the first phish through a sponsored link on Twitter.

The rogue promoted tweet claims to offer verification, but actually directs users to a phishing site, which asks prospective marks for login credentials before requesting payment and contact information in return for a non-existent Twitter Verification offer (i.e. a nice blue tick on your profile).

The apparent scam was spotted by Chris Boyd, a security researcher at Malwarebytes. "There have been vaguely clickbait-style links on sponsored tweets in the past, but – as far as we know – this may be the first example of a phish served up by sponsored links," according to Malwarebytes.

Promoted tweets are normally purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to encourage engagement among their followers. Over three days, the offending tweet was clicked by 812 users, 97.4 per cent of whom hit the link via Twitter's t.co redirect (directly from the sponsored tweet).

Twitter is yet to respond to our request for comment. ®

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