Hackers around the world are increasingly targeting verified Twitter accounts with emails designed to pilfer your Twitter login credentials.
Verified Twitter accounts differ from standard Twitter accounts in that they sport a large blue check mark next to the user’s name, which indicates that the person who owns the account is someone of considerable influence on the platform.
To be considered for verified status, you must formally apply for verification, which involves sending the company additional information including website references and pictures of your Photo ID. There’s even an “essay portion” to the process that requires you to tell the company in your own words why your account deserves to be “notable.”
If that all sounds a little over the top to you, you’re not alone and it is one of the reasons why there are comparatively few verified accounts.
Even so, if you decide you just must have one, be aware that hackers are watching. They’ve been increasingly targeting anyone with the big blue check mark because those accounts can be resold for more money. The accounts typically have lots of followers attached to them, which means that the hackers can potentially get their hooks into even more people.
The latest campaign looks something like this:
You’ll get an email stating that you’ve got a new notification from Twitter Verified, which sounds fairly official.
The email in question contains a button labeled “Check Notifications” but unfortunately, when you do that, you’ll be asked to enter your Twitter login credentials to verify that it’s really you.
Naturally, entering your credentials here has nothing to do with verifying your identity. What you’re typing in is a simple capture box controlled by the hackers, allowing them to pilfer your login details and then abuse them.
Don’t fall for it. Your best bet is to assume any email from a company is fraudulent. Instead of clicking on links, surf your way to the company’s website directly. That’s still not a bullet proof solution, but it will reduce your risk to something pretty close to zero.