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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
Twitter confirms third-party involvement in crypto hackings. Pixabay

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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Google to Test More Variations for Desktop Search Results

Google announces on Twitter to test more desktop Search design after backlash

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Google
After facing backlash from its users, Google announced on Twitter that it will test more variations to the desktop search results. Pixabay

After facing backlash from its users, Google announced on Twitter that it will test more variations and changes to the desktop search results.

Last week, Google introduced a new design for desktop Search that adds site afavicons’ to every result which did not go well with users.

A ‘favicon’, also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, tab icon, URL icon, or bookmark icon, is a file containing one or more small icons, associated with a particular website or web page.

In a tweet, Google said it has heard the feedback from users.

Google
Google introduced a new design for desktop Search that adds site afavicons’ to every result which did not go well with users. Pixabay

“Last week we updated the look of Search on desktop to mirror what’s been on mobile for months. We’ve heard your feedback about the update. We always want to make Search better, so we’re going to experiment with new placements for favicons,” the tech company tweeted late Friday.

“Our experimenting will begin today. Over the coming weeks, while we test, some might not see favicons while some might see them in different placements as we look to bring a modern look to desktop Search,” Google added.

Not just SEOs and SEMs but a wider set of searchers and Google users criticized the desktop Search changes.

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“Our early tests of the design for desktop were positive. But we appreciate the feedback, the trust people place in Google, and we’re dedicated to improving the experience,” said Google.

“Web publishers have also told us they like having their brand iconography on the search results page. We are experimenting with a change to the current desktop favicons, and will continue to iterate on the design over time,” it added. (IANS)