Is Twitter Seeing a New Form of Spam Attack?

Please note this in no way is inferring @nycgrl88 is in any way behind these attacks – it is simply an attempt to figure out why these bots are targeting her.

irobotMy friend Scott Lemon, who runs http://topfollowfriday.com pointed me to this.  It would appear that someone or something has hacked the Twitter sign up process and is creating hundreds of bot accounts, all with the same messages, including one linking @oprah, @mrskutcher, and someone named @nycgrl88 to #topfollowfriday as a recommendation.  You can see all the accounts via Twitter search result here.  They are all posting exactly the same Tweets, all prefixed by 1luv, and complain of things like not being able to upload a photo or background image, a problem Twitter was plagued with yesterday.

Since @oprah and @mrskutcher are obvious names, I naturally looked at the odd one out in the #topfollowfriday recommendation, @nycgrl88.  Her name is Jennifer Regan, and according to her bio, she goes to NYU and lives in New York.  Oddly enough, all of the @1luv spam accounts are owned by a girl named Jennifer (with bio pics that all kind of look similar, but brunette), who lives in New York and goes to NYU.

Could this be a new type of spam attack on Twitter?  I’m not saying @nycgrl88 is the one behind this, but it would not be very hard to game the sign up with a script, create hundreds to thousands of accounts, all that recommend @nycgrl88 to #followfriday, and benefit from top exposure on those sites to get more followers.  Are spammers really that desperate?

Again, let’s not put the blame on @nycgrl88 until we know what’s going on here, but something fishy is happening – I’m trying to figure out the purpose behind it all.  Am I missing anything here?

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10 thoughts on “Is Twitter Seeing a New Form of Spam Attack?

  1. Jesse,

    I know you're not placing the blame on @nycgrl88 – but of note, I've had her on my follow list for some time. My recollection of her history of tweets is generally favorable. Seemed a generally good tweep. I haven't talked to her more than once or twice if at all, so I don't know for sure. But I see regular tweets of a conversational nature from her all the time. Not the usual behavior of a spammer or a bot. I suspect she's a victim just as @oprah and @mrskutcher are in this.

    All is not right in Twitterville.

    Has anyone looked at the profile page code on some of these pages? (I'm not qualified to check for malicious code, or I would)

    Like

  2. Yeah, I hope this doesn't get interpreted wrong – her tweets look legit, for
    sure. I just can't figure out why the bots seem to be targeting her
    profile, and what the purpose of these bots are. Maybe we have yet to see.
    There was another round of them a few days ago, targeting the same people,
    and Twitter suspended them all, so at least Twitter's on the ball with it.

    Like

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