Short Bytes: Tweeting your personal information on Twitter could result in an unwanted subscription of a torrent of cat facts, thanks to a coder who wants to teach you the basics of internet security. To lift this cat fact curse, there’s a single demand – Tweet “Meow, I <3 catfacts” at Edward Snowden.
It goes like this – You post some personal identifiable information like your phone number on Twitter and you become a victim of a unique spam attack. Don’t worry, you won’t be bombarded with malicious links written to hack your phones. Instead, you’ll get text messages with cat facts and a single demand: Tweet “Meow, I <3 catfacts” at Edward Snowden to stop the cat facts.
The coder has also unleashed an email with a flood of cat facts on people. This is real and it has happened with tons on people recently.
Talking to The Verge, the coder behind this spam attack mentions his good intent to educate people on the danger of posting personal information online. He says: “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.”Giving the examples of bugs like Android Stagefright, the anonymous coder said that if the messages sent were malicious, the devices of users could be exploited with ease.
His process of finding numbers and texting them is done by two scripts and it’s completely automated. With some regular keywords, he accesses the Twitter live feed using social network’s API and a free texting website to send the SMS.
But, why Snowden was chosen as the person who’ll lift this deadly cat fact curse? The coder says, “When he joined Twitter, [Snowden] expressed his appreciation for cats.”
“I thought some people would understand the pun on their poor operational security by having to tweet Snowden but turns out most of them have no idea who Snowden is.”
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