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.

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