Something very strange in the world of social media happened recently. Twitter users careless enough to tweet their telephone numbers have been targeted in a rather bizarre spam attack, an attack which is believed to be one of the most unique spam attacks of all time.
Unlike most spam attacks that seek to shut down or damage users’ computers or phones, the recent attacks have had just one single demand – tweet ‘Meow, I <3 catfacts’ to whistle-blower and fugitive from the US Government, Edward Snowden.
And unlike most spam attacks where the instigators have sought to steal personal information and/or money from their victims, the anonymous coder who unleashed the spam attack wants nothing more from his victims than for them to take better care of their personal information online.
The coder who still remains anonymous, recently spoke to The Verge. He told the online news media outlet that the spam attacks were designed to make people take online security more seriously because, “When people tweet pictures of their drivers licenses or debit cards, they usually understand their mistake upon someone retweeting it. When they tweet their phone number, they think nothing of it.”
He went on to say that if a malicious hacker had managed to harvest all the phone numbers that people had put online they’d be open to highly dangerous phone attacks like the Android ‘Stagefright’ bug which affected as many as 1.4 billion users.
To free themselves from the ceaseless barrage of cat facts that include ‘Cats are more active during the evening hours’, ‘Cats are attracted to the cave-like appeal of a clothes dryer’, and ‘Cats lick people as a sign of affection’, those affected must first tweet Edward Snowden, and/or now, @IDSninja, which is presumed to be the account of the anonymous ‘concerned’ coder.