Twitter was hit today by the StalkDaily virus. The long version of the story is in my prior post on the subject, and its comment thread. The super-short version is:
1. Twitter had a virus (or worm) whose main symptom is that your Twitter account sends out tweets like:
Hey everyone, join www. StalkDaily. com. It's a site like Twitter but with pictures, videos, and so much more! :)
2. The virus could be contracted by visiting affected Twitter profile pages.
3. The virus could be cured by ensuring that the URL in your profile (aka settings) page is as it should be. (The URL can be hacked to allow the execution of malicious scripts.) Cleaning up other fields in your settings/profile is also advisable. One can also clear cache, clear cookies, and/or change one's password, but those steps all seem to basically be an abundance of caution.
4. Using non-web Twitter clients appeared to avoid risk of infection.
5. Subsequently, Twitter claimed to close the security hole that permitted the virus to spread.
6. The owner of the StalkDaily website has apparently confessed to creating the attack.
A slightly longer form of the story -- which I wrote before learning that Twitter claims to have ended the problem -- is:
Other blogs have picked up on that work, including ReadWriteWeb and perhaps Mashable as well (it's not totally clear who the "we" is in that post who noticed exactly the same things the commenters on my post did). Damon Cortesi appears to have worked out a lot of the details as well.
One thing: While I defer to Mark's perceptions over my own, I do have a couple of qualms about that precise version of the story, namely:
Curt Monash is a leading analyst of and strategic advisor to the software industry. Praised by Lawrence J. Ellison for his "unmatched insight into technology and marketplace trends," Curt was the software/services industry's #1 ranked stock analyst while at PaineWebber, Inc., where he served as a First Vice President until 1987. He subsequently co-founded Evernet, Inc., a $40 million networking systems integrator. Since 1990, he has owned and operated Monash Research, an analysis and advisory firm covering software-intensive sectors of the technology industry. In that period he also has been co-founder, president, or chairman of several other technology startups.
Curt has served as a strategic advisor to many well-known firms, including Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, AOL, CA, and Netezza. Curt earned a Ph.D. in mathematics (Game Theory) from Harvard University. He has held faculty positions in mathematics, economics and public policy at Harvard, Yale, and Suffolk universities.