Malware Mines for Money Via Twitter

If you find a tweak on Twitter inviting you to check an image on Facebook, watch out. It may be out to gain control of your computer, and steal your money.

GMA News Online reports that a vicious worm is spreading over Twitter. The malicious tweets invite you to checkout a .jpg image on Facebook. The link, like all links in Twitter, is shortened — you can't see where it's really taking you.

So far, this infection has primarily hit users in Indonesia. But you can't assume that this sort of thing won't be cropping up elsewhere, too.

This tweet will take you down a hole dug by a malicious program that Trend Micro identifies as WORM.KOLAB.SMQX. If you're using the peer-to-peer online currency Bitcoin, the worm will find your wallet and send your virtual money to the cyberthugs who set the whole thing up. And Bitcoins, unlike checks or credit card transactions, are anonymous; there's no way to prove that that money was yours in the first place.

They also use your computer to mine Bitcoins. That's a perfectly legal activity, except that they're using your computing power for their profit.

And there's no guarantee that such an infection couldn't cause more trouble. Another malicious program, identified as BKDR_BTMINE.DDOS, not only mines for Bitcoins, but can also use your computer for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks can be used against other Bitcoin miners (the system limits the number of coins that can be mined), or anyone else the criminals don't like.

Luckily, you don't have to go unprotected. Trend Micro's Titanium products will keep these malicious programs from infecting your PC. Titanium Maximum Security has additional social networking security protection to keep you safe on Facebook and Twitter. And the cloud-based Trend Micro Smart Protection Network has already blocked all known sites distributing WORM.KOLAB.SMQX.

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