Social media analysis team Graphika has published a report right now exposing a modest network of 14 Twitter accounts that engaged in a coordinated marketing campaign to criticize the Belgian government’s strategy to ban Huawei from giving 5G equipment to nearby telecommunications companies.
The accounts made use of faux names and posed as Belgium-based tech and 5G gurus. They also utilised profile images generated employing machine understanding GAN algorithms, a system that is getting traction with much more and more social media influence networks.
In a 33-web page report [PDF] printed currently, Graphika researchers mentioned the accounts spent their time retweeting written content from well known accounts and mixing it with their individual tweets that attacked the Belgian government’s final decision to ban “substantial-possibility” providers from its national 5G community, along with tweets that praised Huawei as a trustworthy investor and husband or wife.
These tweets would normally website link to posts sponsored by Huawei itself, content from news organizations registered at non-existing addresses, or article content with the exact same textual content and headline but hosted throughout several newly-registered information web sites and weblogs.
Some of the most common sources were being domains like london-world.com, newyorkglobe.co, toplinenews.eu, and eureporter.co.
Graphika scientists explained that while past Twitter botnets labored in an automated style, this scaled-down network appeared to have been manually operated, with all tweets remaining hand-prepared for each individual of the 14 accounts.
But in spite of the compact range of accounts that had been part of this botnet, tweets were being often amplified by other accounts, together with what appeared to be a 2nd network of Twitter bots.
“These have been made in batches and highlighted a “property design and style” of photos of largely Western women of all ages, and handles that consisted of seven letters adopted by 8 numbers,” Graphica researchers said.
This campaign concentrating on the Belgian govt did not go unnoticed and several Belgian tech and authorities workers also recognizing it on their personal final thirty day period.
All in all, Graphika did not precisely conclude that any of the 14 accounts have been controlled by Huawei or a similar entity, leaving this problem unanswered.
However, Graphika noted that some Huawei staff members in Western Europe experienced frequently retweeted some of this bot network’s information.
All 14 Twitter accounts have now been suspended.