The bullshit accounts were first identified by Zero FOX, a Baltimore-based security firm that specialises in social-media threat detection.
The researchers dubbed the botnet “SIREN” after sea-nymphs described in Greek mythology as half-bird half-woman creatures whose sweet songs often lured horny, drunken sailors to their rocky deaths—presumably for the purpose of feasting upon their vitamin-deficient corpses.
Last week, Twitter’s security team purged nearly 90,000 fake accounts after outside researchers discovered a massive botnet peddling links to fake “dating” and “romance” services.
The accounts had already generated more than 8.5 million posts aimed at driving users to a variety of subscription-based scam websites with promises of—you guessed it—hot internet sex.
Roughly 20 percent of the accounts lay dormant for a year before sending their first tweets, an effort to evade Twitter’s anti-spam detection.
Here’s just a brief sample of the hilariously bad tweets generated by these obviously fake accounts: The tweets further included links to affiliate programs—web pages that typically redirect users to other adult websites.
for free chat rooms features, amazing online chat rooms, and mobile chat at the click of a mouse.
free chat now , chat no register , free text chat , random chat , Singles chat , Nickname , Age , Sex ( Male / Female ) , Country and State.
A “large chunk” of the accounts’ self-declared languages were Russian, Zero FOX reports, and approximately 12.5 percent of the bot names contained letters from the Cyrillic alphabet.
“To our knowledge, the botnet is one of the largest malicious campaigns ever recorded on a social network,” Zero Fox concludes.
Once the Customer enters the desired number of minutes the system auto-calculates the cost, creates a new transaction, then reconnects the call when the transaction is approved.
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The 90,000 accounts were all created using roughly the same formula: A profile picture of a stereotypically attractive young woman whose tweets included sexually suggestive, if not poorly written remarks that invite users to “meet” with them for a “sex chat.” Millions of users apparently fell for the ruse and, presumably, a small fraction of went on to provide their payment card information to the pornographic websites they were lured to.