Queensland's Shadow ICT Minister Ros Bates has fallen victim to a phishing attack on her official Twitter account, an attack that she believed was the result of political dirty tactics.
The suspicious direct message from "Ros Bates"
(Credit: Screenshot by Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)
Bates' Twitter account began sending suspicious links via direct messages yesterday afternoon.
"This made me laugh so hard when i saw this about you lol," one message read, complete with a shortened link to a potentially malicious site.
Bates told ZDNet Australia that she'd had the link sent to her originally by a trusted friend.
"Friends sent me the message yesterday and as it was a trusted friend, I clicked the link and it infected my whole computer," she said this morning, adding that she believes it is part of a dirty smear campaign by supporters of the incumbent Bligh government.
"It's an effort to discredit me as the Shadow ICT Minister of Queensland. There's going to be more and more of these dirty tactics coming up to the election campaign," she told ZDNet Australia.
Simon Finn, Queensland's ICT Minister, said that such a suggestion is "laughable".
"Phishing scams are an unfortunate part of online activity, and it's important to take cyber-safety seriously. These scams are generally easy to spot for savvy users, but less-experienced users can be easily caught out.
"It's totally laughable to suggest that a global phishing attack is related to a 2012 election campaign in Queensland.
"My advice is simple: don't follow links from a source you don't recognise," Finn told ZDNet Australia, adding that his account has also been recently targeted by spammers.
Such attacks have become frequent, with other high-profile individuals falling victim to similar attacks. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently found himself at the mercy of Twitter phishers, with his account posting spam links to "make money from home" sites.
Bates posted an apology to her followers who had received the spam yesterday evening.
"Apologies all if you were spammed by a phishing attack on my account; obviously some people have nothing better to do," the shadow minister tweeted.