Several companies pay third-party companies to use their botnets to release, like, evaluate, write spam comments. The target? Push web traffic artificially to gain visibility, popularity in the online world, money. Recently, the Thai authorities have made a raid by inflicting a blow to the so-called clickfarm industry, real “click factories” underlying these fraudulent operations.
According to Bangkok Post, Thai law enforcement officials have entered these days in a rented house near the Cambodian border, discovering an illegal clickfarm of a group of three Chinese men: Wang Dong, Niu Bang and Ni Wenjin. The tools used: hundreds of iPhone, between 5S, 5C and 4S, connected to PC monitors. Specifically in the clickfarm there were 474 iPhone and 347,200 unused SIM cards of different operators.
Among the instrumentation there were 10 laptops and various electronic products that were seized by the authorities. Initially it was believed that the home was used as a fraudulent call center site, but suspects admitted to operating with a large betting account network on WeChat, whatsapp in China’s popularity as well as one of the most social networks Celebrated and used in the Asian country.
Funding activities were an anonymous Chinese company, which offered around $ 5,000 a month to allow the three to increase the engagement on WeChat on products sold online in China. The transactions were carried out in Thailand due to the lower cost of using the various devices. The issue of bots on WeChat is certainly not new, and is the result of the huge user base of the app in China, which is over 700 million active users every month.
Chatbots are legitimately used by various brands to interact with customers, and beside them we find unlawful chatbots that create spam in groups by inflating my likes and followers of various brands. There are various allegations for the three men, including work without permission, use of unregistered SIM cards, smuggling. Condemnations in these cases could provide for up to five years in prison in combination with fines of up to US $ 3,000.
The police are currently investigating how the three used to introduce such a large number of smartphones in the country and to get hundreds of thousands of illegitimate SIM cards.