He's fought off zombies, bloodthirsty villagers and psychotic Romulans, but "Shaun of the Dead" star Simon Pegg isn't immune to Twitter hacks.
The British actor and comedian was tweeting a series of messages about the Glastonbury Festival in southwestern England yesterday (June 26) when a different tweet went out: "Download the new 'Paul' screen saver http://tinyurl.com/[redacted ] after download right click and press test to install."
Pegg did indeed write and star in a newly released comedy called "Paul" (about a pot-smoking, foul-mouthed alien stranded on Earth), but he didn't tweet that link.
Some fans who assumed it was from him and installed the screensaver were alerted by their anti-virus software that a Trojan horse was present in the file, reports Sophos' Naked Security blog. (The bogus Pegg tweet has since been deleted.)
Unfortunately, not all of Pegg's 1.2 million followers were so forewarned.
"Brilliant Screen Saver simon, worth the download and i love the film." wrote one user. "Just watched this last night! Awesome screensaver!"
Pegg, who also played Engineer Montgomery Scott in the recent "Star Trek" movie, caught on pretty quickly.
"Some f***er has hacked my account. I did not post any Paul screensaver. DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT. Will get back to you," he tweeted about an hour after the initial false tweet.
He later joked : "Apparently the the virus CAN infect Apple products. It made my iPad shrink to the size of an iPhone. And vice versa. Wait, false alarm."
Nonetheless, whoever got into his account has since passed on control of it to someone else. Two Pegg tweets from midday Monday were spam promoting three websites devoted to "grime," a London-centric rap/reggae/dance hybrid music genre.
Pegg's response: "Hacktw*ts are at it again. Ignore everything I say until further notice. You'll know when it's me. Soz.x"
It's a fair bet that Pegg wasn't using a very strong password to protect his Twitter account. In order to prevent this from happening to you, whether or not you're a celebrity, make sure to always use strong passwords, and never re-use passwords for social-networking or financial-service sites.
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