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Daily Bit #152: No Country for ETH Bots

How Duo Security Is Sizing Up Giveaway Scams

No Country for ETH Bots

If you’ve spent any time on Twitter in recent months, Ethereum spam bots need no introduction. The bots tail popular accounts like the plague, promoting ETH giveaways to those who click URLs **that definitely aren’t phishing websites** and offer up a fraction of their own holdings as ante.

They’re not hard to spot… but the bots are still a pain in the buns. Although they’re less enjoyable than long walks on the beach, long scrolls down a thought provoking tweet thread are worth every second – especially in an industry with such a steep learning curve.

And they’re only getting smarter. The AI that powers bots are picking up on dialogue and meta text from surrounding users, hopping in on the conversation before reminding users that the’re giving away *ETH giveaway plug* to celebrate *groundbreaking news plug*.

Duo Security: Don’t @ Me
Although we’ve seen drug rings at work on the big screen (s/o Netflix & Narcos), their sophistication pales in comparison to Twitter’s crypto bot network. Duo Security released a technical report on the methods behind the madness of the scam accounts, and we have to admit – even Pablo Escobar would give the network a h/t.

The research

  • Data collected from May to July 2018
  • 88 million public Twitter accounts
  • Over 500 million tweets analyzed
  • 20 unique account characteristics reviewed

The takeaways

  • The ETH bot army consists of 15,000+ accounts
  • Tweets are fired off in rapid succession to dupe users
  • Bots operate in a 3-tiered hierarchy of (1) publishing bots, (2) “hub” accounts, and (3) hype bots

Fun fact: Less than 5% of Twitter accounts are spam related.

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