A new malware threat has come on the IT scene. It has been referred to as ‘Twitch malware’ and it is being spread most frequently via chat forums and as a result of users clicking on unfamiliar links. Read on for a discussion of what it is, where it came from and how to avoid getting caught out by it. We also give you a few tips for staying safe online.

Twitch platform

Twitch is gaming platform that allows users to watch each other play games, live online. It has more than 55 million monthly unique visits and it has recently been bought by Amazon for 597 million USD.

Twitch malware

The malware

Malware named as ‘twitch’ malware or twitch bot has however been discovered by users of this site and it has serious implications for any user that downloads it. To date, the malware has been downloaded by hundreds of unwitting users of the Twitch platform. It presents itself as an online raffle, which users must click to enter, then it leads them to an interface where personal information is requested, for example email address and passwords. Many of the invites have been posted in chat forums, or on chat threads.

What is can do

When downloaded the malware infiltrates computers, and software enabling the malware to operate online shops that have been deposited into. The malware can also take screenshots, and accept pending friend requests on some computer programs. If the user has money in online shops it is controlling, the malware can buy items and make purchases, sometimes clearing the whole account of the user before it is detected.

What you should do

The administrators of the Twitch platform have issued a special advisory to their users, stressing the importance of not clicking on suspicious links or links form unknown, or untrusted sources. They also advise that disabling links in chat functions can also halt the spread of the malware.

What can I do to protect myself?

The twitch malware highlights a growing, and ever-present disadvantage of using computers – the threat of viruses and malware. Computer users need to protect themselves by installing security software from reputable sources like VMWare Hosting by Umbeehosting.net.

When installing a security software, or update you should always trust the source of the download, since many ‘clone’ versions of friendly downloads are lurking on the internet, ready to infiltrate your computer with malicious software and malware.

As a general rule on the internet you need to be suspicious of every invitation to enter your personal information, or passwords. You should regularly change passwords and ensure that you only given them to trusted recipients. You should also ensure that when using a public computer that others have access to, you don’t save your passwords in email or other interfaces, as people coming along behind you can log into your accounts and misuse your data.