twitter_spamTwitter‘s habit of falling foul to phishing attacks may have come to an end this week as the company announced that it’s stepping up its efforts to eliminate malicious attacks with some new features, described as being able to “detect, intercept, and prevent the spread of bad links before they reach an intended victim.”

According to net security firm Sophos, social networking spam and malware attacks rose 70 per cent last year, with Facebook and Twitter in particular becoming prime targets for Web 2.0 spammers.

More recently, bogus direct messages have invited users to log into counterfeit Twitter sites, and hand over login credentials in the process. Hacked accounts have subsequently sent spam messages, much to the embarrassment of the victims of the attack, including cabinet minister Ed Miliband, online bank First Direct and BBC correspondent Nick Higham.

In news that will be welcomed by the thousands of Twitter users who have fallen prey to such an attack, the popular micro blogging site has decided to fight back.

How does it work? Quite simply, even if a bad link is already sent out in an email notification and somebody clicks on it, Twitter will be able to keep that user safe. The system is similar to current Gmail security, which automatically checks link destinations, and works by all submitted links being routed to this new service.

Aside from the obvious benefits these new measures bring for the celebrity user and average Twitter fan, businesses will undoubtedly benefit from this extra level of protection. A vast majority of companies are signed-up to the service because on the plus side, Twitter is an effective tool in which to market their brand, giving them the ability to continually and repeatedly promote their products and services to a large audience. On the negative side, if a business falls prey to an embarrassing, or in some cases, damaging phishing attack, a company has left itself open and vulnerable for the masses to see. But is this really the last we will see of Twitter spam attacks?

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© Paolo Massa “tag spam” Photo. Attribution 2.0 Generic

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