The Curious Case of Creepy @FFD8FFDB Twitter Bot Spying and Posting Images

A Twitter bot @FFD8FFDB has been found posting cam images on the Internet and it’s creepy.

A while ago we reported about a creepy website was showing live footage from 73,000 private security cameras. Now, a Twitter Bot with the aforementioned account name is posting uncanny images with random, incomprehensible pieces to text regularly. Only recently, the man behind the bot has revealed that the Bot posts images from unsecured webcams that it looks for and discovers.

@FFD8FFDB’s twitter activity seems like a crazy person posting random images with some gobbledygook for text for fun. However, there is a hint of eeriness in the images posted by the twitter bot, although a slight one at that. However, once you start going into the details about the Bot’s working, its real working surfaces and raises a few concerns.

The software which is behind the working of the bot with the Twitter handle @FFD8FFDB looks for unsecured webcams, i.e. webcams whose users have left them without taking any safety measures, on the internet. On finding such a webcam, the twitter bot takes a snapshot from it and tweets the context-free image.

However, there is little cause for concern for personal webcam users, for the person who is behind the Twitter Bot explains how he personally blocks out webcams that belong to private homes. Minneapolis-based web-developer Derek Arnold says that the bot’s creation was done primarily as anaesthetics exercise and he has no intentions of invading peoples’ personal lives.

He even clarified this further in an interview that he chooses not to scan residential ISP blocks when looking for unsecured webcams. The ones that he uses for tweeting via his Bot are mostly business webcams housed in shops or warehouses. The images mostly do not have any human beings in them. Even the select few which have individuals do not pose a threat to the individual’s identity.

Arnold went on to explain how he is intrigued by the images he receives through the webcams. The setting of the cameras and the context of the scene they provide interest him greatly. He says that different webcams are placed in different locations based on the purpose of their installation, and thus the context they provide varies markedly.

He also gave assurance that the activity of the bot should not freak out anyone who happens to come across it. He said that most people who contact him about it talk positively about the whole idea, although a few have raised concerns.

He said,

“I’ve only had a couple of people confounded by it, but I don’t think people are primarily creeped out. Maybe they are, but I’d say most people that interact with it or me tend to say positive things, as I think they get that it’s more of an aesthetic endeavour without any lofty ideals or lessons to learn from it.”

He does identify that the idea may seem a little unorthodox and erratic, so to say, the basic idea behind it has never been anything along those lines.

The Internet of Things (IoT) connected gadgets are always vulnerable to cyber attacks. In the past, security researchers discovered critical security flaws which could be exploited to keep in eye on baby.


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