Hackers have managed to hijack Simon Pegg's Twitter account and used it to distribute a banking trojan to his over 1.3 million followers.
"Download the new 'Paul' Screen Saver http://tinyurl.com/[censored] after download right click and press install
," a tweet posted from the British actor's account last night read.
Immediately users began saying the screensaver is great or awesome, while others reported that it triggered warnings from their antivirus programs.
Pegg returned later to warn his followers not to download anything because it wasn't him who posted the link.
"Some [expletive] has hacked my account. I did not post any Paul screensaver. DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT. Will get back to you
," the actor wrote.
"I'm sorry some feckless little [expletive]-weasel piggy backed my account to spread his/her [expletive] computer virus and to the perp, [expletive] you!!
" he added.
Apparently, Pegg was alerted about the rogue tweet by the person who manages his official website. The incident didn't make the actor lose his sense of humor though, as he later tweeted:
"Apparently the virus CAN infect Apple products. It made my iPad shrink to the size of an iPhone. And vice versa. Wait, false alarm
Nevertheless, the threat to users was very real and some of them probably got infected with a dangerous trojan as a result of the hack.According to
Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at antivirus vendor Sophos, the alleged screensaver contained a piece of malware detected as Troj/VBBanker-A, which, as the name suggests, is capable of stealing financial information.
Simon Pegg is not the only celebrity to have their Twitter account hijacked and misused. In fact, this is somewhat of a common occurrence. However, such attacks are normally used to post fake information and generate controversy. Cases of hacked high-profile Twitter accounts being used to spread malware are extremely rare.