Twitter abuse trends and stats
Posted on 04 November 2013.
When it comes to Twitter, people still have a large appetite for having a large number of fake followers in order to seem more popular. Fraudsters are cashing in on this in a big way and even lowering prices to compete against each other.

Barracuda released an infographic that highlights key stats about the state of fake accounts on Twitter and other attacker trends.

Attacker tools and trends:

Automated tweets - Most fake accounts automatically tweet through instead of using a third party or mobile app. 98% of tweets from fake accounts are sent via vs 24% of tweets from real accounts.

Duplicated profiles - 63% of Fake Accounts are created by duplicating profiles from real users. We cover this in more detail in this blog post from July.

Spamming using Twitter lists - Attackers add victims to a Twitter List to get their attention and then the list description advertises a spam URL. We have seen new spam accounts add over 90,000 people to a list within the first few hours of existing.

Key statistics:
  • The first stat is a measure of the size of the market for fake followers. We measure this as the number of eBay sellers offering Twitter followers for sale. There are currently 52 sellers on eBay selling Twitter followers. This is up from 20 in June 2013.
  • The second stat is the average price per thousand followers. The current price is $11 per thousand followers down from $18 per thousand in June.
  • The third stat that we show here is a measure of how many followers people are buying. The average that we measured in June was 52,432 followers per person that purchased fake followers. Now the average is 48,885.


The price of the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world

Regulatory practices assume untrustworthy humans living in a reliable universe. People will be tempted to lie if they think the benefits outweigh the risks, but objects won't.

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