A pair of University College London researchers spotted a network of 350,000 Twitter bots dubbed the “Star Wars botnet.”
A pair of University College London researchers spotted a network of 350,000 Twitter bots dubbed the “Star Wars botnet.”

While your Twitter account may not have the following of the force, the bots may be with you as researchers have spotted a large Star Wars themed botnet.

A pair of University College London researchers spotted a network of 350,000 Twitter bots dubbed the “Star Wars botnet” which only tweeted random quotes from the popular franchise, often with incomplete sentences and broken words at the beginning or end, according to a recently published whitepaper.

While the purpose of the botnet remains unclear, the bots have remained undetected since 2013 and have the potential to spam, create fake trending topics, manipulate opinions, launch astroturfing attacks, create fake followers, and stream API contamination.

Researchers also noted abnormal distribution of tweet locations including from large uninhabited areas such as seas, deserts, and frozen lands. Its recommended researchers keep an eye on the botnet and assess damage and mitigation techniques for potential threats it could pose.