Are you a dwarf, elf or wizard?

Sorry. This post has nothing at all to do with gardening, other than that a fair number of gardeners have been, it seems, caught by something. It’s written clumsily but will be “improved” over the next few days. The immediate aim is to END something.

Is it a hack? If it’s a hack the programmer’s a novice. If it’s not a hack, the programmer’s an idiot. Either way you need to distance yourself from this. The consensus is that if you’re hacked by this thing, your followers will see tweets from you about LOTR characters which entice them to click a link to start a quiz (which spreads the “infection”). You won’t see those tweets in your timeline but your followers will get fed up with them and will (as has happened) start to mute you or unfollow you. They’ll get fed up with the repeated garbage that you don’t know you’re sending!

FIRST AND FOREMOST, if you see a tweet telling you that someone is a Lord of the Rings character, DON’T CLICK ON THE QUIZ LINK.

If you did click that link your Twitter account’s been compromised.Reports seem confused. I’m not  security expert but it looks like if you click the link and do nothing more, the hack will be able to tweet out in your name until you log out of Twitter. These days, with “remember me” and other settings, it’s quite possible that, without realising it, you’ll remain logged into Twitter long after you’re turned your computer off and gone to bed! Until you completely log out, this little bug will be able to tweet happily away on your behalf.

AND REMEMBER YOU WON’T SEE YOUR OWN TWEETS!

If, at some point, you’ve gone a bit further and, whether wittingly or unwittingly, authorised the little app that underpins this hack, logging out won’t be enough. As soon as you log back in, the authorisation will kick in and away it goes.

So the approach needs to be belt and bracers!

FIRST CHECK YOUR APP SETTINGS

You may have unwittingly authorised a rogue app to use your account. It will tweet out to your followers without you knowing. It’s intelligent enough to make sure that the tweets it sends as you won’t appear in your timeline when YOU look at it. But your followers will start muting or unfollowing you when they see the crap it generates!

Log into Twitter using something other than TweetDeck (Tweetdeck, and similar Twitter apps, don’t let you get at your security settings). Click whatever you need to click to get into your account’s security settings. Check for a listing of any app that’s suspicious. At the time of writing I don’t know what this app lists as (help please) but I guess it’ll be something like LOTR. Whatever. If you don’t understand something, zap it.

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD

Whenever your account is compromised, a password change is a good idea.

And if you receive a tweet from a pal saying they’re an elf or whatever, please DON’T simply mute or unfollow them. Rather, send them a link to this post so they can clean their Twitter account.

And we’ll all be happy.

Thanks for reading.