The Mikeyy virus hit Twitter again today, right on the back of the real-life Michael Mooney, the creator of the original virus, being hired for a security job in what many are assuming is a publicity stunt.
So, is this a copycat? Quite possibly. The exploit is certainly different; infected Twitterers send out provactive tweets to @aplusk, @Oprah, @TheEllenShow, @SouljaBoyTellem, @NYTimes and @StephenColbert, likely assuming that guarantees the best chance of spreading if these high-profile accounts get infected, too.
It also tweets a ‘Mikey got hacked!’ message, which includes a bit.ly link. Obviously, do not click on this. (UPDATE: The link redirected to an infected account, and this has now been suspended by Twitter.)
It’s spreading incredibly fast (Twitter search) – much faster than the previous hacks. My search window is updating with 100s of new results every few seconds.
Meantime, avoid visiting profiles on Twitter.com. Do not click on any dodgy links. And don’t re-tweet infected users messages. Monitor your own profile for signs of infection (if you’re sending out the tweets above, then you’re infected. Apply the cure).
2035 GMT: Twitter is aware of the situation.
2105 GMT: Some of the worm messages now say ‘This exploit only affects Internet Explorer users’. Assume the contrary.
2113 GMT: Hearing that Mac users can’t get infected. Don’t have a Mac so cannot test, but still, assume otherwise until proven. Still spreading faster than anything I’ve seen – 5,000 tweets every 15 minutes or so.
2132 GMT: Mikeyy is now tweeting advice to Twitter about their code within infected user accounts, i.e., “Twitter, do you know about the before_save model callback?” and “Twitter, BeforeSave: ForEach: DataArray: EscapeHtmlChars!!!”. What a helpful fellow.
2141 GMT: Another new tweet from infected Mikeyy users, at least within this variant: “Call me everyone! 718-312-8131”, which is the same number as last time. I believe this is (or was) Michael Mooney’s actual number, which leads me to conclude this is either a copycat or a publicity stunt tied in with his new employment (which would be very foolish indeed).
2320 GMT: Twitter have written that they should soon have things under control, and Mikeyy does appear to have slowed considerably, and may now be gone. If you think you’re infected, use the cure links above. Until next time…