Twitter Botnet Attack Creates 3 Million Shell Accounts

twitterA giant botnet operation created 3 million fake Twitter accounts in a single day, April 17, 2014! There are two other botnets with 100,000 bots each.

The bots were probably created for sale or rent as fake Twitter followers. Some people and companies purchase fake followers. Why would anyone do that? The main reason is to cover up the low amount of actual real accounts that follow a company or a person. Buying or selling such accounts is against Twitter’s rules, but that doesn’t stop people from manufacturing and selling fake followers.

Through the site buycheaptwitterfollowerfast(.)com you can buy a hundred Twitter followers for the price of a single US dollar. If the hackers used the 3 million accounts in such a way, it’s possible that they made a huge amount of money. It’s still unknown if that was the case. The accounts were active, making 2.6 billion tweets and following millions of other accounts. The whole botnet attack went completely under the radar for a long time, having been discover recently by sadbottrue(.)com .

Why Are Botnets a Threat to Security?

This particular attack is very suspicious, because of the large amount of fake accounts that were registered at once. Sellers of fake Twitter followers avoid making that many accounts at once as to avert suspicion. It’s likely that the creators of the botnet want something more than mere shell account to sell, the entire breach poses a serious security threat. Another troubling question in the whole the story is how Twitter didn’t notice such a huge amount of new accounts in that small a time frame.

Twitter Is No Stranger to Security Breaches

Earlier this month, 32 million accounts[https://sensorstechforum.com/32-million-unique-twitter-accounts-sold-tessa88-hacker/] were compromised in another breach of Twitter. Even the big fishes of the social media circuit aren’t safe from having their Twitter hacked. Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook had his Twitter, and other social media accounts hacked. Even the former CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo got his account hacked!

Twitter accounts were also used to give commands to a botnet, through hashtags and URLs in an attack involving the dangerous Hammertoss malware.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer, focused on user privacy and malicious software. Enjoys 'Mr. Robot' and fears '1984'.

More Posts - Website

Share on Facebook Share
Loading...
Share on Twitter Tweet
Loading...
Share on Google Plus Share
Loading...
Share on Linkedin Share
Loading...
Share on Digg Share
Share on Reddit Share
Loading...
Share on Stumbleupon Share
Loading...
Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.