In the war against Twitter spam, the world has a surprising new ally: Anonymous. Equally remarkably, the Anonymous attack is easy enough for anyone to use.
On March 24, an elegant and highly effective counter-spam measure appeared on the Tumblr of NasdaqEnema.
The strategy has ended one of the biggest spambot invasions Twitter has ever seen. Mentions of “Ipaddep” went from zero to 6,000 on March 23rd, and hardly lessened until the release of NasdaqEnema’s blog post. They dropped back to zero within one day.
The technique is being used successfully under #OpSpamHeadChop. Mentions of “DepWalmart” went from zero to 6,200 on the 23rd, and over 7,000 on the 24th. They’ve now gone down to zero. Late entry “@DisneyTickets_” is now being targeted. It’s up to 600 mentions in only a few hours, but as we’ve seen, the Op works.
How does it work?
Glad you asked.
In essence, it’s simply a case of kill the head. The body will fall. And anyone can do it.
You don’t need to know how to use an LOIC to run a DDOS attack—or even know what those things are. You don’t need to dox anyone (release their private information). You don’t need to be a hacker, hacktivist, or even own a Guy Fawkes mask. You even save yourself work!
Instead of reporting each and every throwaway spambot account the spam network is using, find the central account or website that they are all pointing to, and report that one. As NasdaqEnema said,
How many people turned their anti-spam efforts toward the root? All of the spam accounts mentioned a central account. Why not burn the money rather than try to stop every thief?
Don’t go after the spammer bots. Hack at the root.
If they point to a central Twitter account, all you have to do is block and report that account as a spammer. It will be suspended.
That account will, in its bio, have a website, which is where the spammers want to direct you. Check it out using something safe like WhereDoesThisLinkGo.com. Find out who hosts that website, and report it to the host; virtually all hosting agreements in North America include bans against spamming. The website is now subject to suspension. Turn and get a high-five from the person sitting nearest to you; you deserve it.
The spammer is toast. In the parlance of Anonymous, #TANGODOWN.