What’s the story?

A new wave of spam has hit the popular social network Twitter which pushes advertisements for a free and “proven” antivirus. The link is malicious and the antivirus is fake.

So far over 500 Twitter accounts have clocked up over 4000 tweets of this spam message and that number is rising fast with compromised accounts tweeting roughly eight times a second.

If a user follows one of the infected links they are prompted to conduct a “fast scan” of their system to remove discovered infections (which don’t really exist).

 

Is this a new scam?

While this particular instance of the spam is new, Twitter users have fallen prey to a number of fake antivirus scams in the past.

 

Why is it so effective?

Spams are often more effective on Twitter due to the shortened URL’s that are seen on the platform in abundance. Due to the 140 character limit, anyone wanting to share a link or a picture will use a link shortener.

Short links hide the true identity of a link and people are often too trusting when following them.

 

How can I stay safe?

As ever it is important to make sure you trust any link you follow on social networking sites where malicious intent is rife due to the high trust environment. We would recommend only following a link if you implicitly trust the sender and it is addressed to you specifically.

If you’re still not entirely sure about a link, try a link scanner product that should be able to check the safety of links before you click on them. AVG has a free LinkScanner which you can use any time here.