Posted by Virus Bulletin on Sep 20, 2011
Important lessons for companies engaging in social media.
Last week, the Twitter account of the Bank of Melbourne was hacked and used to send direct messages containing phishing links to its followers.
A recently relaunched subsidiary of Westpac, the Australian bank engages heavily with its customers through its @BankofMelb Twitter account. However, the security of the account proved not to be up to scratch when hackers managed to gain access and used the account to send direct messages containing phishing links.
The hacking of corporate Twitter accounts is nothing new, neither are phoney messages claiming to come from a bank. What makes this case rather unique - and worrying - is that the account itself is genuine, thus significantly adding to the credibility of the links.
It is unclear whether customers lost money as a result of the hack; given that direct messages can only be sent to followers of the account - of which the bank has a little over 800 - it is unlikely that there are many victims. The bank assured its customers (via Twitter) that no personal data had been stolen as part of the hack.
However, this case should act as a wake-up call for anyone using a corporate social media account: is it all very well to have strict security policies in place within an organization, but it is also important that these policies are extended to Twitter and other social media used for corporate purposes. If not, these will become the weak spots in the corporate security and the bad guys will undoubtedly find them.