Twitter attack acainews drowns service in berry spam

The Twitter logo.

The acainews Twitter attack has made a spammy mess of things. (CC BY-SA/Miha Filej/Flickr)

The berries of the açaí palm are marketed as a miracle food, with antioxidant qualities that can retard aging, promote weight loss and cure diseases like diabetes. Scientists believe this amounts to mere marketing spam, however – and Twitter users would surely agree. According to Mashable, a new Twitter advertising attack called “acainews” has converted thousands of Twitter accounts into spam-producing robots. Twitter insiders speculate that at least 10,000 unauthorized tweets relating to acai berries have appeared on the microblogging service the past few days.

Don’t click acainews links, Twitter users

Reports indicate that the Twitter advertising spam is connected to tweets that link to domains that include the phrase “acainews.” While the exact mechanism through which the açaí berry Twitter worm travels from one computer to the next is currently unclear, users are advised to avoid clicking any link that leads to an acainews-related domain. Experts have stated that acainews is the fastest-moving Twitter attack in recent memory.

Gawker may have spread the açaí berry jam

There was early speculation that Twitter accounts had been compromised by a third-party service. Del Harvey, the head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, later confirmed to Mashable that the acainews worm is “very likely” connected to a recent incident where the Gawker blog was hacked. That exposed data from 1.3 million Gawker commenter accounts, and many of those accounts were linked to Twitter accounts. Thus, Harvey advises all Twitter users who have linked their account to the Gawker blog to change their Twitter password immediately.

Compromised accounts, not malicious code

Damon Cortesi of TweetStats told Mashable that acainews does not appear to be transferring harmful code directly to computers. The Twitter accounts in question may have simply been compromised when Gawker was hacked. Couple that with the fact that the great Oprah has said “no” to açaí berries, and that should be enough reason to stay away from acainews.




Oprah and Dr. Oz say ‘no’ to açaí berries

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