British politicians caught by Twitter sex scam

Posted by Emma Woollacott

It's always pleasant to get a sexy message from your heart-throb, and Twitter followers of British energy minister Ed Milliband had a nice surprise this morning.

The message read, "hey, i've been having better sex and longer with this here..." and a link to a site which sells a herbal Viagra substitute.

Unfortunately, it turns out to be just another example of the latest phishing scam to hit Twitter.

"I'm afraid that the only thing which might get bigger is the spammers' bank accounts," says Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos.

He's not the only senior politician to fall foul of the scam; Harriet Harman, the leader of the House of Commons has also had to distance herself from a fake message sent to opposition politician Alan Duncan.

Ed Miliband quickly removed the offending post. "Oh dear it seems like I've fallen victim to twitter's latest 'phishing' scam," he tweeted.

But he,, the man's a politician, and he made a quick recovery - well, after three and a half hours, anyway  - to say: "Now I've got your attention - I want your ideas for the manifesto http://bit.ly/cEaaNP #securingtherecovery."

"Miliband needs to do more than just tweet an explanation for his bizarre tweets," says Cluley. "He also needs to change his password, and think long and hard about whether he is using that same password on any other websites."

Cluley suggests the politicians may have been fooloed into providing their passwords by the 'This You????' or 'LOL this is funny' attacks earlier this week.

There's another possibility: the latest warning from Twitter itself on its safety site  reads: "If you get a DM from an enthusiastic lady wanting to converse by IM, please ignore. User is likely compromised & request is spam."