Russian Spam accounts. A LOT OF THEM.

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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Hiyah,
So I've noticed a whole ton of accounts popping up in people's "followers" lists, all of them have 0 or very little scrobbles, and all of them have a machine-translated (notice broken English grammar manifesting in phrases like 'sea sex') spam message in their descriptions, accompanying a link in the form of xxx.*something*.ru (other TLDs are also encountered).

I tried to whois these domains and some of them don't even exist yet, and seeing from the pseudo-random domain names, it might be some domain name generator scheme similar to these involved in malware attacks, but who am I to know that for sure. I certainly wouldn't click on any of these links lol

What most bothers me is that most of these accounts appear to be created in 2009-2012, but I noticed them popping up in follower lists only very recently (my own account was created in 2017 but I had other accounts before that, dating to my first one created in march 2009 -- I don't remember how "old last.fm" friends lists worked exactly but "new last.fm" is around for like 2 years now so what's up with that)
Also a few of these accounts appear like they had legitimate shoutbox conversations, scrobbles and legitimate followers before, so is that some kind of botnet hijacking accounts or what?!?!

Yesterday I started following these accounts as a kind of 'social experiment'/'test' , but seeing as some new (unseen) ones followed me back after that, and there are more and more of them that I'm seeing by browsing followers of these followers (i know it's weird to say), I decided to post about it so maybe you implement some ip block or filter, or just oversee the situation, idk, here is my following list: https://www.last.fm/user/charlesbukaw/following , of course i also follow legitimate users but the spam accounts are obvious to discern because of the profile descriptions.

Thanks for reading,
~mhz
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mhz esent

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Posted 2 years ago

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mhz esent

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Unusual example #1 (72070 scrobbles, followers who seem to be normal users though some are inactive so might be 'sleeper acounts' too): https://www.last.fm/user/Fulkini
Unusual example #2 (Little scrobbles but had shoutbox conversations, I don't speak Russian though so I don't know if this is fabricated or not https://www.last.fm/user/Ramones_96 )

Most of the other ones are blank or have like 100 scrobbles and no shouts but it's stuff like this that makes me wonder. I just followed another bunch of these profiles and all I had time to check are 2009-2011
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James Joul

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One of them followed me about a month ago. It seems Last.fm are aware of the issue.

https://getsatisfaction.com/lastfm/topics/follower-spam

I wonder if it's related to the 2012 breach in which millions of user passwords were stolen. 
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mhz esent

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Oh god, I just only noticed this message now. Sorry for inconvenience to the mods, I might file a report under the provided link, but I'll also keep track of these accounts on my own to continue my 'test'.
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mhz esent

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OK, I'm not sure what the Last.fm team's stance on removing accounts in abuse cases is (some websites only block access/interaction with the site from a given account, but don't remove the profiles themselves), so after getting some sleep I'll report these accounts and unfollow them because if the team is not keen on completely removing offending profiles then I'll just waste my following list on these bots xD
Though I'm a quirky enough person to consider collecting these a weird hobby (I've researched archived Wikipedia abuse cases for long, long weeks, despite I never ever ever made ANY Wikipedia edit myself)
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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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Thanks, I think I've already replied to your email, but I'll double check in a minute.  Just so you know, when we ban an account it gets removed from your followers list automatically.
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mhz esent

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i noticed about a 100 disappearing. yes. good to see sth positive done about that.
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Alex

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This is still happening - the ones that started showing up a couple weeks ago appear to be long gone but got followed by two new russian spam bots during the weekend...
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Patrick

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One of them followed me about a month ago. I had two spammers on my list, the next day, they vanished. It seems Last.fm are aware of the issue as James Joul said.
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JBIR

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Suzy

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Just noticed a suspect follower on my list - then I checked their followers list and there were even more!
Please LFM DO something about this, it's more than annoying that we can't accept friend requests like we used to and that basically anyone can follow you without consent. 
Sort it out.
Thank you.
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sakigaby

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It has happened to me too. One follower so far...I added the user to my ignore list but I don't know if it will do much. Account hasn't been active since 2009. I find it creepy that it is following me.


Looking at the user's follower list, there's more O.O...
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Suzy

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Even if you put them on your ignore list - the point is these exceedingly boring accounts keep multiplying. Frankly it isn't for us to keep adding them to our ignore list, which could potentially get very long indeed looking at the amount of them out there.  I feel LFM should block them once reported. 
In all likelihood they would diminish if they had to REQUEST friendship first! 
UGH *cross face* 
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sakigaby

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Yeah, you got a point there. I should report on them instead. I do miss the friend request as well. Last.fm, please listen to us.
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Zero

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I think those accounts are victims too, because they look like they've been hacked. I think it because when last.fm changed the layout two years ago, our about me in the profile was left blank and these accounts have something written on them right now, even though they have sent scrobbles many years ago, the only thing updated is the about me? This looks like it was hacked, and we know that various users information has been leaked. That's just a guess because I do not speak russian and I do not know what they are saying.

And, sadly, I've seen several accounts in english that were hacked by a user. They do not even send scrobbles, they just hacked. Except for an account being used. If you guys want, I can make a list.
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Patrick

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Here's another one: https://www.last.fm/user/alatar66 This hasn't made any activities since 2009, then he suddenly came out of the blue to post a porn address in about me section.

[EDIT]: I got another one, and he's following me. https://www.last.fm/user/Renelinder
(Edited)
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JBIR

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Patrick

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colored lights

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As did I: https://www.last.fm/user/anon6969

I'd suggest last.fm just obfuscate all urls contained in about-me on 'followers' pages.   Anyone that wants to see someone's real link can just click through to that person's profile page.
(Edited)
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carnagexcandy

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I reported one of these users through the Last.FM website on Wednesday February 28th, but haven't heard anything back yet. =/

Another two users to add to the list:

https://www.last.fm/user/anasantos77
https://www.last.fm/user/dnburmistrov
(Edited)
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Babs, Moderator

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Can you remember the account you reported? It may have been banned.
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carnagexcandy

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The first link in my post is the one I reported.
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carnagexcandy

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Another 2: https://www.last.fm/user/alan880
                  https://www.last.fm/user/afaizn
(Edited)
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Babs, Moderator

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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for reporting these. Please keep posting to help us find them.
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poisonapple

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Cornel Diaconu

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I got one also:
https://www.last.fm/user/Anthfool
No scrobble since 2011, but appeared recently in my followers list.

In this particular situation I think it would've been very useful that old feature (in the "old site") that gave a list of most recent activities a user had on last.fm (adding himself/herself to some other user's followers list would've been for sure on this recent activities list).

Any plans in adding back this feature ?
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Patrick

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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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Official Response
Thanks for reporting, these should all have been taken care of now.  If you find any others, please don't hesitate to report them using this email form (category Report Abuse).  Cheers.

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