John Lister's picture

Online Politics Riddled with 'Bots' Perpetuating Fake News

Political discussion on social media is often driven and manipulated by automated "bots," a university department claims. The word "bots" is a short form for "robot," and refers to online activity carried out using an automated program. The Oxford ... Internet Institute says it studied events in nine countries and found the bots played a role in every case. However, social media groups have questioned such studies saying they are often based on flawed research methods. The study looked at activity on Facebook and Twitter among users in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Advertising May Be a Scam: Report

Facebook's business model is based on advertising. But one disgruntled advertiser claims 80 per cent of the "people" clicking on its advertisements aren't humans at all. Limited Run is a website that lets musicians create an online store in which ... they can sell both physical CDs and digital content. Like many businesses, Limited Run created a promotional page on Facebook and then began advertising on the social networking site to attract visitors to its own home page. According to the company, however, it became suspicious that something was amiss when the details associated with the number of ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Online Gaming Sites Begin Crackdown on 'Poker Bots'

The popularity of online poker sites has skyrocketed in recent years. But for some the experience may be tarnished upon hearing that a number of these sites are using "Poker Bots" -- automated software programs designed to play poker games by ... stacking the deck and lining the pockets of those that control them. Internet gambling is illegal in the United States, but online casinos operate offshore and continue to attract a number of new users on a daily basis. Likewise, Poker bots are not new to most gaming circles. The programs continue to be openly sold online the black market for hundreds of ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Man Challenges 250,000 Strong Botnet and Succeeds

When security officials decide to "go after" computer malware, most conduct their actions from a defensive standpoint. For most of us, finding a way to rid a computer of the malware suffices -- but for one computer researcher, however, the change ... from a defensive to an offensive mentality is what ended the two year chase of a sinister botnet once and for all. For two years, Atif Mushtaq had been keeping the notorious Mega-D bot malware from infecting computer networks. As of this past November, Mega-D had forced more than 250,000 PCs to do its bidding via botnet control. That's when Mushtaq ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Invasion of the BOT e-Snatchers?

The theme behind Jack Finney's "The Body Snatchers" has been replicated in movie after movie since 1956. Each remake advances the same basic theme: aliens are taking over people one by one and it's almost impossible to tell who has been taken over ... and who hasn't. With the arrest last month of John Kenneth Schiefer, 26, we learned that there are aliens taking over our PCs too. Schiefer, or "Acidstorm" to his friends, pleaded guilty to using the snatched identities of over 250,000 "zombie" PCs to conduct identity theft and fraud. Schiefer and accomplices used 'bot' software to compromise ... (view more)

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