The ever-changing world of cybercrime consistently gets more and more sophisticated. The villainous cybercriminal will go to the extreme to get their hands on your personal information and steal your money. Ransomware attacks alone quadrupled in the first quarter of 2016 from the same period a year earlier.
Trojans, phishing emails, viruses and ransomware are just some of the scary attacks that you've read about on our site. Now, there is a first-of-its-kind attack that could infect millions of gadgets.
The new attack comes from mobile malware that can infect Android phones and tablets. It's a Trojan named Twitoor, and it coordinates with botnets by using the social media site Twitter. This is the first known Trojan to coordinate infected gadgets through the social media site rather than a command-and-control (C&C) server.
A botnet, to refresh your memory, is a group of gadgets that hackers have quietly taken over. The hackers take control with a virus and then use the combined power of the gadgets to perform large-scale hacks or scams. The gadgets under control can even send spam messages without the owner knowing.
Once the malware is hidden on your gadget, it repeatedly coordinates with a Twitter account. That account then gives the Trojan instructions on what to do next. It will be instructed to either install secondary payloads or to switch to another command-and-control Twitter account.
The Twitoor app can not be downloaded from the Google Play store. That means it is most likely spread through malicious URLs or text messages.
Botnets have been around for quite a while. However, Twitoor is harder to detect than those using a command-and-control server. This opens the door for future attacks and could eventually be used to infect gadgets with ransomware.