By continuing to use the site or forum, you agree to the use of cookies, find out more by reading our GDPR policy

A long-standing Twitter issue allows bad actors to manipulate tweets so that they appear to contain content from one site, but actually, link to a completely different one. This enables creating tweets that look like legitimate articles from well-respected sites but actually link to pages serving phishing, malware, or scams. Whenever you share a new link in a tweet, Twitter will send a bot to the linked web page and check for special meta tags in the HTML source. If these tags exist, Twitter will use the information on the page to create a rich media block called Twitter Cards that is filled with additional text, images, or video. Bad actors, though, can manipulate how Twitter accesses a linked-to page so that the Twitter cards are created from metadata found on another site. Terence Eden discovered that a problem occurs when a page linked in tweet monitors for the Twitter Card Generator's user agent of "Twitterbot/1.0." If the user agent is detected, it will redirect the bot to a different page; otherwise, it will display the normal content. When the Twitter Card Generator is redirected, it will use the metadata on the page it landed on to create the Twitter Card. While the card will look like it came from the redirected site, it will still link to the URL originally posted in the Tweet. As you can see, it is easy to see how this could help malicious actors. Eden found this after noticing a promoted tweet from an account that currently has a low follower count and an even smaller list of followers. The tweet was a cryptocurrency scam about Singapore and while the card showed a story from CNBC, clicking on it led to a completely different website. Looking at the source code of the app, the redirect was revealed. Checking the link with Twitter's Card Validator also shows that the card is redirected to CNBC's website. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.