Disruption of DRAGONBRIDGE.
N2K logoJan 26, 2023

Spam network makes some attempts to conduct influence operations.

Disruption of DRAGONBRIDGE.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has released a report outlining its efforts to disrupt the massive spam network DRAGONBRIDGE.

Spam network has a very small audience.

DRAGONBRIDGE is a China-based influence network that uses hundreds of thousands of accounts across several platforms. The researchers note that most of the network’s posts are “low quality content without a political message, populated across many channels and blogs.” TAG has taken down more than 100,000 of the network’s accounts.

Despite the network’s size, DRAGONBRIDGE has received very little engagement from real people. 95% of its blogs received fewer than ten views, and most of its videos had fewer than one-hundred views. The researchers also note that most of the engagement the posts received were from other DRAGONBRIDGE accounts.

TAG states, “Most of their posts are spammy, nonsensical material without an overt political message — often clips of animals, landscapes, food, sports and other content. Blurry visuals, garbled audio, poor translations, malapropisms, and mispronunciations are also common. The content is often hastily produced and error-prone — for example, neglecting to remove Lorem Ipsum text from a video.”

Some attempts at influence operations.

The researchers also note that “a small fraction” of the accounts push more coherent posts relating to current events, adding a pro-China spin. Most of these posts were written in Mandarin, and focused on negative stories about the US.