A survey released yesterday, August 6th, uncovered the notorious phenomenon of Twitter accounts which promote fake cryptocurrencies giveaways, disclosing a network of about 15,000 scam bots, reported the CoinTelegraph.
The Twitter bots analyze, which still cheat unknowing users, originates from computer security firm Duo Security.
The project entailed 88 million Twitter accounts, which were discovered and ranked using a software program designed by engineers based on machine learning.
With only the last 200 tweets from every account, this software has uncovered a network of 15,000 bots that promote fake contests by impersonating a few of the most well-known characters in the crypto-verse.
“Users tend to trust a tweet even based on how often it has been tweeted or appreciated. Anyone who manages this particular botnet knows this, and has designed it to take advantage of this trend,” states Duo Security data scientist Olabode Anise in the news release that comes with the research.
A network of 15,000 bots are offering fake cryptocurrencies giveaways on Twitter
A number of industry figures who have been embodied by bots have renamed themselves on Twitter to indicate that they are not offering cryptocurrencies or crypto tokens, including Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who is now known as Vitalik Non-giver of Ether on Twitter.
“It’s important to analyze an account almost holistically, even looking at the metadata of the content,” added Olabode Anise.
“For example, these accounts usually tweet in short bursts, so the average time between tweets is very low. Documentation of these patterns of behavior can also be used to identify other malicious botnets,” the security expert continued.
Anise and the associate Jordan Wright will showcase their achievements at the Black Hat USA 2018 IT security briefing in Las Vegas on Wednesday, August 8th.
In reply to the research, Twitter said it knew about the issues and that ‘spam’ accounts would be less than 5% of all current accounts on the social network. The company also indicated that, in most instances, the false cryptocurrencies giveaways are concealed by default.