Twitter Botnet Could Be Millions Of Accounts Strong, Investigation Claims


Twitter

Twitter is no stranger to fake or spam accounts, and according to new emails published by Cryptome, the social network is dealing with a massive botnet.

Cryptome is known for publishing (and leaking) a wide range of potentially sensitive information, and the emails in question do some digging into an alleged botnet.

It all started when Twitter user @Paulmd199 noticed some rather odd tweets after searching for tweets about Edward Snowden:

“I dont know much about Haarp but Edward Snowden is the one thats revealing it to the world and to the newspapers so will become the”

“Oh, its the weekly kill Edward Snowden shout out from and !”

“What on earth? Surly such unusual phraseology wouldn’t be repeated over and over by different users. Well, it turns out that these little gems are only one small part of a massive botnet, that tweets everything from utter nonsense, to psuedo-ebonics (“Son? Ure hungry Ma : Ok my sonmofe: Yh lol : Its all black : Wasup with it? : mofe dis ur new avi”), to things a reasonable human might say.”

According to Paul, he was able to track the creation of the botnet to the beginning of March, and put together a sample of 33 different spam tweets.

Out of those 33 tweets, he was able to find over 34,000 tweets containing the same content.

“The botnet could easily involve hundreds of thousands, or millions of unique handles. When you look at the individual accounts associated with the botnet, they appear to be from a human user. Until you search the tweets therein, and found that they’ve been spammed 700 times in under a week.”

Business Insider reached Twitter for comment, and here’s what a spokesperson had to say:

“We have a variety of automated and manual controls to detect, flag, and suspend accounts created solely for spam purposes. We’ve also taken legal action to shut down these spammers — in April 2012 we filed suit against five of the most aggressive outfits.”

Back in November, Twitter stock briefly fell below $40 after an article published in The Wall Street Journal highlighted a man responsible for thousands of fake accounts.

Photo credit: sffubs via photopin cc


Mike Stenger

Lover of technology, Mike often makes jokes that nobody laughs at.

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