A Twitter video promising a “hysterical” response from a dog to a baby soiling its nappy appears to have been disabled by the social network.
The app also had the ability to read users’ timelines and post tweets.
Some high-profile users, including New York Times literary critic Dwight Garner and Fox News pundit Brit Hume, appear to have fallen for the scam.
Anyone clicking on the option to view the video now gets an authentication error.
Similar malicious apps had been circulating on Twitter for a long time, said independent security expert Graham Cluley, who was therefore surprised users had been caught out.
“Any ‘viral’ video that demands you connect it to your Twitter account shouldn’t be touched with a bargepole,” he said
“For years scammers have used ‘viral’ videos to trick users into granting them access to their Facebook or Twitter accounts, whether it be to post spammy messages under the user’s name, spy on private communications, or harvest the contact details of your friends.
“When you see warnings from Twitter that the app you are about to authorise will be able to access your private direct messages, or post tweets on your behalf, you should run to the hills.
“It’s clearly up to no good if it’s demanding such access just so you can watch a video,” Mr Cluley added.
He advised those who were still curious about the contents of the video in question to go to YouTube “which makes no demands for you to link up your Twitter account, or even log in”.