Simon Pegg is Twitter-hacked, warns fans of Trojan horse threat

Filed Under: Malware, Social networks, Twitter

Simon PeggBritish comic actor Simon Pegg, star of movies such as "Shaun of the Dead", "Hot Fuzz", and most recently the alien comedy "Paul", has claimed that his Twitter account has been hacked in order to spread malware to his 1.2 million followers.

Simon Pegg normally tweets to his fans with TweetDeck or Twitterific, but the offending message was sent via the Twitter for BlackBerry application instead:

Download the new "Paul" Sceen Saver [LINK] after download right click and press test to install.

Download the new Paul Sceen Saver [LINK] after download right click and press test to install.

Fans of Simon Pegg rushed to download the screensaver, only for many of them to report that their anti-virus software had found a Trojan horse in the ScreenSaver.exe file being linked to.

Pegg posted a few messages indicating that he believed his account had been hacked, claiming that he did not post any messages about a screensaver, and warning fans of the "computer virus" threat. He doesn't mince his words about what he thinks of the hacker responsible.

Tweets from Simon Pegg warning fans

And Pegg is right - it's not a harmless file. It's a banking Trojan that Sophos detects as Troj/VBBanker-A.

Clearly, it is a timely warning to all internet users to think long and hard before running or installing any unknown content on their computers.

Although the malware in this case is Windows-specific, funnyman Pegg couldn't resist cracking a joke:

It's no laughing matter, of course, for Simon Pegg's Twitter followers - any of whom could have been putting their computer at risk if they downloaded and ran a malicious file.

Famous figures who have fallen victim to a Twitter hack in the past include Ashton Kutcher, Lil Wayne, Axl Rose, Britney Spears and plummy-voiced British TV property crumpet Kirsty Allsopp.

Even publications like the New York Times and humourous phenomenon ShitMyDadSays have fallen foul of hackers on Twitter.

It's worth bearing in mind, however, that sometimes celebrities might have claimed to have been hacked on Twitter when in fact it's quite possibly not true.

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4 Responses to Simon Pegg is Twitter-hacked, warns fans of Trojan horse threat

  1. WippyM · 1215 days ago

    It's funny how eager Simon Pegg's followers were to download the "sceen saver", compromising their internet security...really?! -_-

  2. Bpullin · 1215 days ago

    The vast majority of people are mindless little drones and have no idea about any consequences of their actions. People can be warned until you are blue in the face, and they will immediately go and do something stupid, and then wonder why the bad thing happened. If i were a hacker or some other web predator, Facebook would be one of my oysters.

    • Mick A · 525 days ago

      Completely agreed. You never really know the full extent of the stupidity, indifference, gormlessness and sheer brain-death of the majority of people until you look at the way they deal with information security. It is no wonder that there is such a proliferation of fraudsters all preying on these idiots. Finally, I have just received an email from my sister, asking 'how are you?' and telling me to open a web page on a hacked web site; demonstrating that she's more than likely fallen for such nonsense herself

      ... Let's hope it doesn't run in the family!

  3. Blackberry you say, that sounds hard to track. <sarcasm>

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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.