The folks from cybersecurity firm, Trend Micro, have discovered a new kind of malware which uses memes posted on Twitter to pass on instructions. Sorry mates, it looks like memes are dangerous now.
Well, kind of. According to Trend Micro, the malware used is actually pretty pissweak and mostly consists of something called remote access trojans, which simply takes screenshots and other data from infected PCs and sends it on to a server controlling it. In other words, what it does is pretty unremarkable, but the way it uses Twitter and memes to do it is where things get interesting.
There’s no need to stress, though, it doesn’t look like you can cop a virus from Twitter itself, so your computer probably won’t be infected by looking at memes on the platform. Rather, the researchers reckon the idea behind it is to have the infected computer connect to twitter.com rather than something dodgy which is more likely to be picked up by anti-virus programs.
The thing is, though, no one’s figured out exactly how the malware infects computers, where it came from, or what it’s intended for. What they do know, however, is that certain commands were found hidden in meme images which were capable of instructing infected computers to grab some shit and pass it on to the control centre address.
Trend Micro has already notified Twitter, who has removed and permanently banned the offending account, a screenshot of which can be seen at the top of this page.
To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken this long to weaponise memes with viruses, even if they are incredibly outdated ones.