The new tweets on the compromised page will contain sexually suggestive photos and shortened links, using either Bitly or Google's URL shorteners, and redirect users to the adult sites, according to the post.The links also include an affiliate tag which identifies where traffic originates from.
“We suspect that the accounts were compromised as a result of weak passwords and password re-use, where by passwords obtained from other breaches allowed attackers to gain access to these accounts,” Narang said.
“The incentive for the attackers is to drive users to these adult dating websites with the intention of getting users to sign-up for these sites,” Symantec Senior Security Response Manager Satnam Narang told via emailed comments.
“We estimate that each successful conversion is worth .00 per user.” Researchers noted that several of the compromised accounts were older accounts that were orphaned by their owners and had not sent new tweets in years.
This month, an online search engine called Shodan, originally set up in 2009 to provide feeds from web-connected CCTV cameras and webcams, made it inadvertently possible for people to view sleeping children through vulnerable smart baby monitors. Tech & Science delivered to your inbox“Over the past few years, the hacking of baby monitors has become an increasingly disturbing problem,” Julie Menin, head of the investigation at New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs, tells .
“In one instance a couple in Indiana heard someone singing The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ to their baby and making sexual noises through the monitor.”[Related: How to Protect Baby Monitors from Hackers]The sexual aspect of such hacks is of “incredible concern” to Menin and she hopes the investigation will force companies to be held accountable for potentially deceptive claims that the devices help to keep babies safe.