A direct message from Twitter Administration. Can you tell if it's legitimate or not?

Filed Under: Social networks, Spam, Twitter

For a long time we've seen spammers, phishers and malware authors concealing their advertising pitches, scams and malicious payloads by pretending to be a message from a social network, whether it claims to originate from Facebook, Twitter or even MySpace.

Here's one of the latest we caught today, claiming to come from Twitter.

Spam pretending to be from Twitter


You have 2 direct message from Twitter Administration

The Twitter Administration

The link, of course, doesn't go where it claims to go. You'll only find out where that link is really going if you click on it, or hover your mouse over the link.

So, what do you think it's going to be? Phish, malware or link to a spam website?

It's clearly up to no good (does Twitter ever sign its messages "The Twitter Administration"?), but what's the purpose of it.

It's not much of a game I'm afraid, as you simply can't tell just by viewing the screenshot I took.

You'll have to take my word for it that if you click on the link you are taken to a webpage selling pharmaceutical drugs such as Viagra and Cialis. Yes, this is another campaign backed by a Canadian Pharmacy affiliate.

Canadian pharmacy website

As long as you don't actually buy any of the drugs on offer, this is probably the least harmful option. I'd prefer to visit an online store than have my Twitter password phished, or my computer infected with a Trojan horse. Just as long as I don't hand over my credit card details or risk my personal health by taking medications without the thumbs-up from my doctor.

Take care of your computer's health by keeping your defences up-to-date, and remain aware of the latest threats by reading sites like Naked Security or following me on Twitter.

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3 Responses to A direct message from Twitter Administration. Can you tell if it's legitimate or not?

  1. i see a few things wrong
    1) Twitter Never Signs their emails
    2) Twitter Never Calls you "Twitter-er" They Call you by your username
    and 3) there needs to be messages

  2. Mrs. W · 1500 days ago

    You'll never see a "You have 2 DMs" messages, because DMs don't stack.

  3. mugabo · 1500 days ago

    Not having a Twitter account guarantees me 99.98% protection from this (and a >25% of making me momentarily smile).

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at https://grahamcluley.com, 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. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley