New malware pulls its instructions from code hidden in memes posted to Twitter


Security researchers said they’ve found a new kind of malware that takes its instructions from code hidden in memes posted to Twitter.

The malware itself is relatively underwhelming: like most primitive remote access trojans (RATs), the malware quietly infects a vulnerable computer, takes screenshots and pulls other data from the affected system and sends it back to the malware’s command and control server.

What’s interesting is how the malware uses Twitter as an unwilling conduit in communicating with its malicious mothership.

Trend Micro said in a blog post that the malware listens for commands from a Twitter account run by the malware operator. The researchers found two tweets that used steganography to hide “/print” commands in the meme images, which told the malware to take a screenshot of an infected computer. The malware then separately obtains the address where its command and control server is located from a Pastebin post, which directs the malware where to send the screenshots — 10/10 points for creativity, that’s for sure.

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