Twitter Has 15,000 Bots Which Promotes Crypto Scams
August 9, 2018 11:46 am
Cryptocurrency scams have been on trend these days, and the Coincheck hack was one of the biggest cryptocurrency scams. Recently, one of the researches revealed that a huge botnet cryptocurrency “giveaway” scam is taking place on Twitter.
According to the report by ITPro, the research which checked 88 million Twitter accounts from May to July and used machine learning to identify the bots, malicious files, and more on the social media platform.
The team of researchers has found a single network with more than 15,000 bots in a three-tiered structure which promotes the fake crypto giveaway.
The Duo team explained how the botnet works in a paper which needs to be displayed at the 2018 Black Hat cybersecurity event on Wednesday.
Therefore, they mentioned that the bots create a spoofed (or copycat) account first for a genuine cryptocurrency related accounts. This account would copy the name and profile picture of the genuine account.
The bots are developed in such a way that they can reply to tweets posted by genuine accounts. These bots tweet a link which invites Twitter users to the scam.
The botnet also used “amplification bots” the fake accounts which are used “like” scam tweets to “to artificially inflate the tweet’s popularity [and] make the cryptocurrency scam appear legitimate.”
The report states:
“[Searching for connected bots] resulted in a three-tiered botnet structure consisting of the scam publishing bots, the hub accounts (if any) the bots were following, and the amplification bots that like each created tweet. The mapping shows that the amplification bots like tweets from both clusters, binding them together.”
Duo mentioned that the botnets are still active and can be determined by “straightforward analysis.”
“We don’t consider the problem solved.”
Duo also revealed its plan to open source the techniques explained in the report with the hope that new technologies can be developed for identifying malicious bots and keep Twitter and other social networks as a place for healthy online discussion and community.