Discord Bans Spy Pet Service Bots

Developers at Discord have blocked numerous accounts associated with the Spy Pet service, which caught the attention of the media last week. The service is involved in collecting and selling user data, including messages left by individuals on various servers and logs of connections to voice channels.
Last week, journalists from 404 Media published the results of an investigation dedicated to the Spy Pet service, which tracks and archives billions of messages on public Discord servers. The service sells access to data for just $5, allowing tracking of over 600 million users across more than 14,000 servers.

Searching for a specific user reveals on which servers Spy Pet has noticed that person, and the client is provided with an exportable table of all user messages (including the server name, timestamp, and message content); logs with information on when a person joined and left specific voice channels on the server; as well as data on related accounts, such as on GitHub. Furthermore, researchers personally confirmed the functionality of the service by checking several users through it.

According to a report by 404 Media, the number of servers from which Spy Pet can gather data decreased to 12,000 and eventually reached zero last Thursday. On Friday, the Spy Pet website completely shut down, and Discord representatives informed journalists that they are considering legal action against the operators of the resource.

“Our security team thoroughly investigated this activity and identified certain accounts that we believe may have been associated with the site Spy.pet. Consequently, these accounts were blocked,” Discord stated.
The company added that Spy Pet operated thanks to self-bots, which are bots that use regular user accounts to join servers.

It is worth noting that Discord was aware of the existence of the Spy Pet service since at least February of this year, and the company did not explain why measures were only taken now, after the information about Spy Pet surfaced in the media.

“Scraping our services and self-botting violate our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. In addition to blocking associated accounts, we are considering taking appropriate legal action,” Discord representatives said.

Furthermore, journalists discovered that Spy Pet may be linked to the Kiwi Farms website, known as a gathering place for various trolls and stalkers. In particular, a user under the alias Spy Pet uploaded several message dumps obtained from Spy Pet to Kiwi Farms.

Discord representatives informed the publication that all accounts for scraping apparently belonged to one individual who is indeed an active participant of Kiwi Farms.
However, the Spy Pet administrator assured that he does not want his tool to be “used for stalking.” Subsequently, he implemented an opt-out mechanism on the website that supposedly allows the removal of a specific user’s Discord data from the search.

When Discord developers started banning Spy Pet bots, a banner appeared on the service’s website stating that “Spy.pet has issues.” The author mentioned that he managed to restore about 20% of the bots and promised to deal with the rest later.

Shortly after this, the Spy Pet project’s administrator announced in his Telegram channel that the project’s domain had been blocked, but he plans to create a backup. The administrator assured journalists that the domain block is not related to Discord’s actions, and the counter of available servers for Spy Pet reset to zero because he had to rewrite part of the project. However, the project’s author admitted that Discord did indeed ban some of his bots.

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