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New form of bot attacks - Political Bots - Anyone else seeing them?

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Dodgeboard, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

    The past few days, as the US presidential race draws near, we've seen a new form of spam: Political bots. They appear to seek out threads with "Romney + Obama" and then post highly generic political posts with links. They never respond to any discussion and they all seem to originate from the same Washington DC IP ( pool-96-255-23-191.washdc.fios.verizon.net) but under several different user names (many of which have already been deleted).

    Anyone else seeing this?




    New form of bot?
  2. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    What's going to happen when they are busted?
    How hard could it be for Verizon to trace it back?
    Is political spam even illegal?
    Politicians can legally robodial even if you are on a no call list. <I think.>
    I wonder if this is the same thing?
  3. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

    all good questions

    I'm not finding a whole lot on the subject so it must be a pretty new technology.
  4. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    I really think it's legal and the law hasn't caught up.
    Be interesting to find out.
    And I hope politics stay out of the thread since this is an interesting subject.
  5. tenants

    tenants Well-Known Member

    I doubt they are campaign driven (it seems a bit black hat + easy to detect for a campaign) it's probably a link creator that decided to stop creating links, and is now backing their favourite party

    It sounds like just a variation of Xrumer usage, you can set Xrumer up to look for particular topics [Xrumer Option = Priority categories: do only post for these categories, see here on page 11, there is now also an option to only post on priority categories (note: this is an old manual)]

    It's not really a "new form", it's probably that the person(s) running this Xrumer script thought they would be more likely to go undetected if using current topics, which is usually true, but they were silly not to also add better and more related information before the links.

    Sometimes these script can initiate conversation (so they aren't all bad ) ;)

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