Twitter slams top five spammers with legal suit

Big bird gets busy


Twitter has filed a legal suit against five entities for selling tools that send out spam tweets and clog up its network.

The suit names TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, and TweetBuddy, plus James Lucero of Justinlover.info and Garland Harris of Troption.com as its targets. In the legal filing, Twitter says that it has had to pour resources into its Trust and Safety team to try to stop spam, and has spent nearly a million dollars to counter the effects of the five defendants.

"With this suit, we're going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter," the company said on its blog.

The filing points out that all of the accused have signed up for a Twitter account, which involves signing the terms of service that specifically prohibit spam generation, as well as selling software that also breaks Twitter's terms. Furthermore, they market their code specifically as being able to circumvent existing spam controls.

As for the goal of the suit, Twitter wants the defendants to be shut down and claims damages equal to the amount it estimates they have cost the company. That works out at $300,000 for TweetBuddy , $150,000 for TweetAttacks, a $100,000 bill for James Lucero, and for TweetAdder and Garland Harris, $75,000 apiece.

Twitter made clear that it wasn't just relying on the legal system in its anti-spam campaign, but is beefing up security-engineering efforts as well. Just how successful it is will depend upon the ability of spammers to react technologically, and whether or not they are worried about their legal position. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022