A botnet on the largest platform for information exchange – Twitter has been discovered to exist and wreak havoc on the web. The botnet is reported to exist since, notice, the year 2013 undetected, until two researchers at the University College of London discovered it.
According to the researchers Juan Echeverria Guzman and Shi Zhou this botnet consists of approximately 350,000 bots which, if all are activated, Twitter could go crazy with spammed tweets. The primary reason for the researchers to be concerned are a possible scenario of this “Star Wars” botnet spreading malicious web links and this risky hypothetical outcome of this scenario for many inexperienced users. The bots can start topics, influence opinions by fake posting and perform everything they are commanded to do.
Other researchers also feel convinced that the bots hypothetically might even post a massive biased and influential posts that may result in massive forming of opinions based on false information.
Not The Largest Zombie Cluster Reported
This has not been the biggest issue reported so far. There was even a larger botnet discovered by the researchers since the start of their project. It consisted of more than 500,000 accounts that have been discovered out into the open. Researchers have not yet submitted the discoveries directly to twitter since there has to be final approval to certify the results of their discoveries.
Furthermore, according to them, this botnet was also unable to be detected primarily due to the low activity of each fake bot account. However, the tweeting time intervals have seemed to be on purpose and very approximate, meaning that they may have been commanded by a control center.
Since tweets are often marked with a geo-location type of tracking technology, similar to cookies, known as tag, malware researchers were able to figure out that most tweets from spam accounts were sent out from Europe as well as North America.
According to the researchers who tracked down the location patterns of those tweets combined they have concluded that there is little probability that those tweets were actually sent out by human beings, but rather following commands.
More information that they have reported was that these tweets also act almost simultaneously when activated.
The malware researchers keep working on their projects and you can support them by reporting botnets at:
or spreading the word.