Tuesday September 18, 2018
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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 India partners White Swan Foundation, unveils special emoji. 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 Announces to Revert its Timeline Into A Pure Chronological Feed

Twitter has updated the "Show the best Tweets first" setting

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Twitter revives pure chronological timeline for over 300 mn users. Pixabay

Giving its over 336 million users more control, Twitter has announced that it will completely revert their timeline into a pure reverse chronological feed.

The micro-blogging platform in 2016 announced that it will only show “most important tweets” and stop the most recent tweets first which irked many users.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Twitter announced that in the coming weeks, it will start testing a “way to switch between a timeline of tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest tweets”.

“We’ve learned that when showing the best Tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful. However, we’ve heard feedback from people who, at times, prefer to see the most recent tweets,” said Twitter.

“Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent tweets with the best tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right,” it added.

TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

This is how it will work.

Flip on the feature in your settings from the iOS or Android Twitter app.

When you open Twitter after being away for a while, the tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline — still recent and in reverse chronological order.

The rest of the tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always.

“At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love,” said Twitter.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“We’re working on making it easier for people to control their Twitter timeline, including providing an easy switch to see the most recent tweets,” said Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour.

Twitter has updated the “Show the best Tweets first” setting.

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“When off, you’ll only see tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order. Previously when turned off, you’d also see ‘In case you missed it’ and recommended tweets from people you don’t follow,” it noted. (IANS)