“I had never seen this”: many Twitter users victims of a spam campaign

“I had never seen this”: many Twitter users victims of a spam campaign

2023-05-30 20:11:27

They denounce a real “explosion”. Several Twitter users reported receiving a wave of fraudulent messages on Tuesday morning, sent in private messages. All identical, but from different accounts, these messages are in the form of a job offer.

“We are looking for a new member for our energetic, enthusiastic and creative team”, they announce, offering a “competitive salary between 200 and 500 euros per hour” and asking candidates to send a CV and a cover letter. . The messages also indicate a phone number to reach on WhatsApp or Telegram.

This offer was sent with high frequency – sometimes several times per minute – by dozens of different accounts which, according to screenshots, use nicknames composed of a random sequence of numbers and letters, and display for the mostly a photo of a young woman. Elements characteristic of bots, automated accounts.

“An industrial rhythm”

A specialist in tech and the web, Victor Baissent himself received “several dozen” of these messages “in the space of a few hours”. “I had never seen that”, he assures the Parisian. In trying to trace the authors of these messages, he found that certain photos and nicknames of the accounts concerned had already been used by false profiles during a previous wave, last April. After exchanging a few messages on WhatsApp with the number provided in the messages, he was redirected to a site inviting him to take part in a project evoking “a pyramid scam scheme”.

According to some users of the social network, this type of message has tended to multiply in recent weeks. “Spam in private messages on Twitter is starting to take on an industrial rhythm! I remove it EVERY DAY, several times a day! », testifies a twittos. “It’s getting worse and worse,” also believes Victor Baissent.

Elon Musk miss a cause

Some of these users directly implicate Elon Musk, the owner of the bird social network, who has made the fight against spam one of his priorities. “We are going to exterminate spam bots or perish trying,” he had assured a few months before officially buying the platform.

In May 2022, the former managing director of the Parag Agrawal platform revealed that “more than half a million” spam accounts were being suspended every day. “We also lock millions of accounts every week that we suspect are spam – if they can’t pass human verification tests (captchas, phone verification, etc.),” ​​he said. recognizing that Twitter’s work in this area was not “perfect”. Elon Musk – then a candidate for the takeover of the social network – had replied in the thread with a poo emoji.

To not receive this type of spam, while allowing messages from people you do not follow, it is possible to activate a feature to “filter low quality messages” in the application settings, such as indicates the gendarmerie officer and cybercrime expert, Matthew Audibert.

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