Study: Hackers use memes on Twitter to control malicious programs


For the transfer of commands, the attackers encrypted images of Morpheus from The Matrix.

Cybersecurity experts from Trend Micro told about the discovery of a new malicious program. Its peculiarity is that it receives commands using the code hidden in the memes from Twitter.

The TechCrunch publication noted that the malware itself is not impressive: like most remote access Trojans (RAT), it extracts data from the infected computer and sends it to the attacker’s server. Twitter memes were used to communicate with command and control servers from which infected devices were given instructions.

The researchers found an account created in 2017 on the social network (at the time of the publication of the report, Twitter has already deleted the account). Some tweets were encrypted instructions: for example, in the meme with Morpheus from the “Matrix” contained the command / print, which forced the Trojan to take a screenshot of the screen of an infected computer.


Trend Micro concluded that malware is in an early stage of development. Connecting to twiiter.com provided hackers with a certain degree of reliability. In 2017, researchers from ESET have already found a similar encryption in the comments under the photo of Britney Spears on Instagram. Then it was associated with the Russian hacker group Turla.


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