Los Angeles Times: Lawmakers seek to quash ‘Grinch’ bots that inflate holiday toy prices

Los Angeles Times: Lawmakers seek to quash ‘Grinch’ bots that inflate holiday toy prices. “A group of Democratic lawmakers is trying to make it illegal for people to use automated accounts to inflate the prices of consumer products online. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, they announced the Stopping Grinch Bots Act of 2018 in an effort to prevent anonymous profiteers from deploying bots that buy in bulk in-demand products on retailers’ websites and resell them elsewhere at exorbitant prices.”

Study: Twitter bots played disproportionate role spreading misinformation during 2016 election (Indiana University Bloomington)

Indiana University Bloomington: Study: Twitter bots played disproportionate role spreading misinformation during 2016 election. “Among the findings: A mere 6 percent of Twitter accounts that the study identified as bots were enough to spread 31 percent of the ‘low-credibility’ information on the network. These accounts were also responsible for 34 percent of all articles shared from ‘low-credibility’ sources.”

The Register: Spammer scum hack 100,000 home routers via UPnP vulns to craft email-flinging botnet

The Register: Spammer scum hack 100,000 home routers via UPnP vulns to craft email-flinging botnet . “Once again, a hundred thousand or more home routers have been press-ganged into a spam-spewing botnet, this time via Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). According to brainiacs from 360 Netlab, the malware exploits vulnerabilities in a Broadcom UPnP implementation to infect vulnerable gateways, and that means a load of router manufacturers are affected because their kit uses that technology.”

Mother Jones: How Bots Are Hijacking the Political Conversation Just Before the Election

Mother Jones: How Bots Are Hijacking the Political Conversation Just Before the Election. “When President Donald Trump tweeted about a caravan of immigrants heading to the US border in late October, it set off a wildfire of misinformation on social media. Posts on Facebook and Twitter spread conspiracy theories that Democratic donor George Soros was funding the migrants and the false allegation that the group included terrorists and gang members. It turns out it wasn’t just Republicans latching on the story—it was also Twitter bots.”

Slate: Humans Are Getting More Botlike on Twitter

Slate: Humans Are Getting More Botlike on Twitter. “We know for sure that Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly targeted high-profile Democrats with mail bombs in late October, isn’t a Russian bot. His mugshot proves that he’s a flesh-and-blood Florida human rather than a computer program. But if you had read the postings from his now-suspended Twitter account, it wasn’t so easy to tell. You might have concluded that Sayoc was, in fact, a robot. And that’s a problem.”

ZDNet: Two botnets are fighting over control of thousands of unsecured Android devices

ZDNet: Two botnets are fighting over control of thousands of unsecured Android devices. “Two botnet gangs are fighting to take control over as many unsecured Android devices as they can to use their resources and mine cryptocurrency behind owners’ backs. The turf war between these two botnets –one named Fbot and the other named Trinity– has been going on for at least a month if we’re to combine the various clues from reports published by different cyber-security firms.”

US mid-terms: Twitter deletes anti-voting bots (BBC)

BBC: US mid-terms: Twitter deletes anti-voting bots. “Twitter has deleted an estimated 10,000 automated accounts that were posting messages discouraging people from taking part in next week’s US mid-term elections. Most of the accounts were posing as Democrats, the social media company said. They were taken down in late September and early October.”