Hoards of pre-programmed Twitter accounts — many of which are actively associated with online campaigns to post pro-Donald Trump content — are now actively promoting a cache of leaked CIA files published last week by WikiLeaks, new research found.
Our sister publication CyberScoop details how about 32,000 unique Twitter accounts — more commonly known as “bots” — tweeted more than 170,000 times using the #Vault7 hashtag on March 8, the day the leaked information was made public. The #CIAHacking hashtag was also used in another 3,800 tweets authored by 2,600 bot accounts.
The network was identified by social media researcher Vlad Shevtsov, who used a software tool to analyze upwards of 44 million tweets; looking for “multiple synchronous operations” to identify “automatic control of an artificial audience.” He described his methodology in greater detail in a blog post written earlier this month.
Read more about the bots from cybersecurity reporter Chris Bing on CyberScoop.