Washington DC: A team of scientists, who are hunting for malware hidden in shortened URLs on Twitter, has created an intelligent system to stop and search malware links.
Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of real-world events with high volumes of traffic on Twitter in order to post links to websites which contain malware.
To combat the threat, computer scientists have created an intelligent system to identify malicious links disguised in shortened urls on Twitter. They will test the system in the European Football Championships next summer.
In the recent study the Cardiff University team identified potential cyber-attacks within five seconds with up to 83 percent accuracy and within 30 seconds with up to 98 percent accuracy, when a user clicked on a URL posted on Twitter and malware began to infect the device.
Lead scientist Pete Burnap said that unfortunately the high volume of traffic around large scale events creates a perfect environment for Cyber-criminals to launch surreptitious attacks. It is well known that people use online social networks such as Twitter to find information about an event.
Principal investigator Omer Rana said that they are trying to build systems that can help law enforcement authorities make decisions in a changing Cyber Security landscape. Social media adds a whole new dimension to network security risk.
This work contributes to new insight into this and we hope to take this forward and develop a real-time system that can protect users as they search for information about real-world events using new forms of information sources.