VB2018 paper: Uncovering the wholesale industry of social media fraud: from botnet to bulk reseller panels

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Nov 6, 2018

On the day of the 2018 US mid-term elections, there will be few who are not aware of the activity of botnets on social media and how these, allegedly, have tried to influence elections. But social media fraud doesn't just restrict itself to elections – fake Facebook, Twitter and Instagram likes and followers have long been sold to vain social media users.

In a paper presented at VB2018 in Montreal, co-written with her colleague Olivier Bilodeau, GoSecure researcher Masarah Paquet-Clouston looked at the subject of social media fraud and detailed the full supply chain behind it: from the IoT botnet used to generate and manage the fake accounts to the reseller panels where people can buy likes or followers.

Today, we publish Masarah's paper in both HTML and PDF format.

7-industry_rep_3.PNGPotential supply chain for the social media fraud (SMF) industry.

 

For more on this subject, watch the VB2015 presentation by Olivier Bilodeau (then at ESET) on the the Linux/Moose botnet used in this kind of fraud.

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 paper: The modality of mortality in domain names

Domains play a crucial role in most cyber attacks, from the very advanced to the very mundane. Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Paul Vixie (Farsight Security) who undertook the first systematic study into the lifetimes of newly registered domains.…

VB2018 paper: Analysing compiled binaries using logic

Constraint programming is a lesser-known technique that is becoming increasingly popular among malware analysts. In a paper presented at VB2018 Thaís Moreira Hamasaki presented an overview of the technique and explained how it can be applied to the…

Virus Bulletin encourages experienced speakers and newcomers alike to submit proposals for VB2019

With a little less than a month before the deadline of the call for papers for VB2019, Virus Bulletin encourages submissions from experienced speakers and newcomers alike.

VB2018 paper: Internet balkanization: why are we raising borders online?

At VB2018 in Montreal, Ixia researcher Stefan Tanase presented a thought-provoking paper on the current state of the Internet and the worrying tendency towards raising borders and restricting the flow of information. Today we publish both his paper…

The malspam security products miss: banking and email phishing, Emotet and Bushaloader

The set-up of the VBSpam test lab gives us a unique insight into the kinds of emails that are more likely to bypass email filters. This week we look at the malspam that was missed: banking and email phishing, Emotet and Bushaloader.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.