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Report: Twitter Again Flooded with ‘Adult Dating’ Bots

Twitter, however, acted upon most of those accounts and shut them

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Twitter Rolls Out Account Activity API For All Developers
Twitter Rolls Out Account Activity API For All Developers. Pixabay
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Evading Twitter’s security algorithms, a mass-scale “botnet” advertising “adult dating” scam websites is back and is rapidly growing on the micro-blogging platform.

According to a blog post by Andy Patel, a researcher with the global cyber security firm F-Secure, Twitter had curbed most of the accounts of the earlier botnet called “Pr0nbot” which was discovered in March.

The earlier bot, however, is now back with a bang as “Pr0nbot2”.

“A month and a half ago, I uncovered a series of Twitter accounts advertising adult dating (read: scam) websites. I used a script to recursively query Twitter accounts for specific patterns, and found just over 22,000 Twitter bots using this process,” Patel wrote in a blog post on Friday.

Twitter, however, acted upon most of those accounts and shut them.

Twitter icon.
Twitter. Pixabay

Later, Patel modified his previous script and let it run again. “After 24 hours, my new script had identified just over 20,000 accounts,” he posted.

After four days, his script had found close to 44,000 accounts and eight days later, the total was just over a whopping 80,000.

“I shut down my discovery script at this point, having queried just over 30,000 accounts.

“I’m fairly confident this rabbit hole goes a lot deeper, but it would have taken weeks to query the next 50,000 accounts, not to mention the countless more that would have been added to the list during that time,” Patel said.

Twitter was yet to comment on this development.

The new bots show many similarities to the previously discovered botnet like similar pictures, same URL shortening services, similar usage of the English language.

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However, the bot creaters are re-tooling the new bots based on Twitter’s action against their previous botnet.

“Because these new accounts use a pinned Tweet to advertise their services, we can test this hypothesis by examining the creation dates of the most recent Tweet from each account,” Patel informed.

“My current hypothesis is that the owner of the previous botnet has purchased a batch of Twitter accounts (of varying ages) and has been, at least for the last 21 days, repurposing those accounts to advertise adult dating sites using the new pinned-Tweet approach,” Patel claimed. (IANS)

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Twitter Rolls Out Account Activity API For All Developers

With this, Twitter has replaced legacy services like Site Streams, User Streams and "REST Direct Message" endpoints

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Twitter Rolls Out Account Activity API For All Developers
Twitter Rolls Out Account Activity API For All Developers. Pixabay

Twitter has announced that its new Account Activity API is now available to developers and its legacy services will retire on August 16 and not June 19 as earlier reported.

In April 2017, Twitter announced the Account Activity API (application programming interface) to help developers build solutions that enabled businesses to create better engagement experiences.

In December, the company announced the enterprise general availability.

“Today we’re excited to announce the Account Activity API is now generally available to all developers through our developer portal,” the micro-blogging platform said late on Wednesday.

Twitter Rolls Out Account Activity API For All Developers.
Twitter logo, Pixabay

With this, Twitter has replaced legacy services like Site Streams, User Streams and “REST Direct Message” endpoints.

“We did so as part of our efforts to improve the developer experience and provide a sustainable way to help businesses engage with those looking to connect with them,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Also Read: Tweet Analytics Startup Favstar Shuts Down Over Twitter Data Sharing

“As we retire aging APIs, we have no plans to add these capabilities to Account Activity API or create a new streaming service for related use cases,” it added.

The Direct Message endpoints on the “REST API” have been replaced with more functional endpoints. (IANS)

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