"State-Sponsored" Cyber Attacks

Twitter Suspends 70 Million Fake Accounts

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Cybersecurity researchers from Imperva and Comparitech today reacted to news that Twitter has suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July.

Avishay Zawoznik, Security Research Team Leader at Imperva:

“When such news emerges, the first question that comes to mind is “how haven’t they done it before?” The answer is simple – it’s always a balance between costs and risk management. The ever-growing sophistication of malicious actors makes bot detection and blocking harder with time. Such protection requires a high-maintenance, comprehensive approach.

It seems that Twitter have finally found the fight against fraud, bots and spam is worth the cost. They do it by both behavioral and technical detection, and a protection mechanism that introduces escalating challenges and enforcements for different scenarios. We hope that more online businesses will take Twitter as an example for the attention that should be paid to fraud, bot and spam threats.”

Lee Munson, Security Researcher at Comparitech.com:

“Even though it should probably have tackled the issue many years ago, it’s great to see that Twitter is finally dealing with the issue of fake accounts.

While most of the bot activity is just really annoying, artificially inflating the egos of people prepared to pay for followers, some of it is quite malicious in nature, using topical news stories and the corresponding hashtags to spread malicious links.

Additionally, in recent years, fake accounts have also been linked with fake news, a problem that really can have a great influence on the public conscious, not to mention election results it seems.

Thus, this move from Twitter will go a long way in making the platform both safer and more trustworthy at a time when social networks are coming under increasing media scrutiny.”