Video: Twitter spammer caught on camera

Filed Under: Social networks, Spam, Twitter, Video

I've written before about how I have caught sexy spammers stalking me on Twitter.

This evening, I suspected something similar was happening when I stumbled across the details of one of the latest people to follow me. At the time of writing, Sara4877 has only ever made one post on Twitter but she is already following over 100 people.

Somewhat surprisingly, as you'll see in the video I made, she only seems to follow people with the word "Graham" or "Honda" in their name:

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to work out what is going on here. "Sara", or at least the people who created her account, are trying to scoop up Twitter names in preparation for sending messages via the micro-blogging system. "She" probably found the usernames by using the Twitter search engine or API to query its database for matching names. My guess is that whoever is behind this didn't just search for the names "Graham" and "Honda" - they have probably tried with lots of other words too, creating many different versions of "Sara".

The messages when they are inevitably sent from this account could be spam, or they might even link to malware, but one thing is for certain - I don't want to receive them. Your best advice is to block suspicious followers like this, and if you believe you have encountered a spammer let the Twitter staff know by telling @spam.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.