Wall Street Journal: Congress Probes Bot-Generated Social-Media Messages About E-Cigarettes

Wall Street Journal: Congress Probes Bot-Generated Social-Media Messages About E-Cigarettes. “A congressional committee and the Massachusetts attorney general are investigating whether millions of bot-generated social-media messages about e-cigarettes have been misleading consumers about safety and health issues.”

BuzzFeed News: Political Operatives Are Faking Voter Outrage With Millions Of Made-Up Comments To Benefit The Rich And Powerful

BuzzFeed News: Political Operatives Are Faking Voter Outrage With Millions Of Made-Up Comments To Benefit The Rich And Powerful. “A BuzzFeed News investigation — based on an analysis of millions of comments, along with court records, business filings, and interviews with dozens of people — offers a window into how a crucial democratic process was skewed by one of the most prolific uses of political impersonation in US history. In a key part of the puzzle, two little-known firms, Media Bridge and LCX Digital, working on behalf of industry group Broadband for America, misappropriated names and personal information as part of a bid to submit more than 1.5 million statements favorable to their cause.”

Indiana University: Tracking coordinated disinformation campaigns online made easier with new BotSlayer tool

Indiana University: Tracking coordinated disinformation campaigns online made easier with new BotSlayer tool. “The software, which is free and open to the public, scans social media in real time to detect evidence of automated Twitter accounts — or ‘bots’ — pushing messages in a coordinated manner, an increasingly common practice to manipulate public opinion by creating the false impression that many people are talking about a particular subject.”

Ars Technica: IoT botnet creator cops plea to hacking more than 800,000 devices

Ars Technica: IoT botnet creator cops plea to hacking more than 800,000 devices. “A 21-year-old Washington man has pleaded guilty to creating botnets that converted hundreds of thousands of routers, cameras, and other Internet-facing devices into money-making denial-of-service fleets that could knock out entire Web hosting companies.”

ScreenRant: China Accused of Using Twitter Bots To Promote Disney’s Mulan After Hong Kong Backlash

ScreenRant: China Accused of Using Twitter Bots To Promote Disney’s Mulan After Hong Kong Backlash. “China is reportedly using Twitter bots to promote Mulan after Hong Kong backlash. The new live-action remake of Disney’s hit 1998 animated feature, Mulan, is due to arrive in theatres next spring. Lately, however, the film has been hit with a substantial bit of controversy over allegiances in the ongoing Hong Kong protests.”

Hackaday: Bots That Snag The Hottest Fashion While Breaking Social Trust In Commerce

Hackaday: Bots That Snag The Hottest Fashion While Breaking Social Trust In Commerce. “At DEF CON 27 [FinalPhoenix] took the stage to share her adventures in writing bots and uncovering a world that buys and sells purchasing automation, forming groups much like cryptocurrency mining pools to generate leads on when the latest fashion is about to drop. This is no small market either. If your bots are leet enough, you can make a ton of cash. Let’s take a look at what it takes to write a bot, and at the bots-for-sale economy that has grown up around these concepts.”