Status-Stealing Spammers Lurk on Twitter, Facebook
Hijacked accounts leave sting of shame
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 8:25 AM CST
Hacked Facebook and Twitter accounts leave users ashamed.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – These days a computer virus can hijack not just your hard drive but also your online identity. Twitter and Facebook users are often mortified to learn that viruses have stormed their accounts, sending out messages to all their friends and followers. And all the more embarrassing when co-workers and loved ones who trust you fall for malicious programs cloaked as video links or online tests.


“I wonder what people are thinking of me right now?” one Twitterer lamented to the New York Times after discovering five days too late that a virus had been offering his followers fake Victoria's Secret gift certificates. He's not alone: 21% of social network users report being targeted by malicious programs. While viruses have long computer-hopped via email, they were more likely to be stopped by antivirus software or firewalls. These measures offer little protection online, creating a viral field day.