Ukraine shuts down Russian bot farm spreading fake news


A bot farm has been uncovered in Ukraine that was spreading disinformation on behalf of the Russian government. The Ukrainian Cyber ​​Police (SSU) managed to confiscate around 5,000 SIM cards and 200 proxy servers.

It is not the first such case. In the last few weeks in particular, the Ukrainian cyber police have discovered and shut down a number of similar networks in Ukraine, mostly set up by the Russian army.

However, the current case is the largest bot farm discovered to date and thus a particularly significant blow to the spread of fake news relating to war events. The SSU writes that the aim of the farm was to discredit the Ukrainian leadership and to destabilize the country’s social and political situation.
Infographic: Targeted by Russian hackers

The company, which secretly operated in the capital Kyiv, Kharkiv and Vinnytsia, maintained over a million bot accounts and several social network groups with almost 400,000 users.

Sophisticated system

The SSU also found at least 5,000 SIM cards used to create and maintain fake social media accounts and 200 proxy servers to spoof IP addresses and avoid being banned by websites. The leader of the group believed to be behind the farm is a Russian citizen who has lived in Kyiv and describes himself as a “political expert,” SSU writes. Some time ago, Ukraine’s cyber police published initial statistics on the attacks the SSU had uncovered and stopped since Russia invaded the country. This included shutting down five bot farms that were running 100,000 social media accounts that were posting fake news about the invasion and current war events. In addition, around 1,200 hacker attacks on government and strategic critical infrastructures were stopped.

In addition, more than 500 pro-Russian YouTube channels with more than 15 million subscribers were blocked at the request of the SSU, and more than 1,500 Telegram channels and as many Instagram, Facebook and TikTok accounts were submitted for blocking. All of the content revolved around spreading disinformation.

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Security, Hacker, Hack, Russia, War, Ukraine

Security, Hacker, Hack, Russia, War, Ukraine

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