The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) exposed a group of people in Kyiv who maintained a bot farm distributing the anti-Ukrainian content. The attackers controlled almost 6,000 bots, press service of the SBU reports.
According to the investigation, the group included nine residents of Kyiv. They developed and used specialized programs and equipment to control bots. In particular, the program allowed: to automatically register new accounts; fill profiles with content; simultaneously administer a large number of users of popular social networks.
To increase the level of trust, the attackers disseminated information on "verified accounts", using forged documents of Ukrainian citizens. The fakes were given to Facebook support to confirm the "identity of the person."
The accounts were then used to distribute publications and comments on behalf of third parties. Most of it is the content aimed at strengthening protest sentiment in Ukraine, including anti-vaccination movement.
In addition, the bot farm was engaged in advertising fraudsters who attracted potential victims to phishing sites of banking institutions, international brokerage projects and online casinos. All this is to steal money.
"Dealers were in collusion with the owners of fraudulent call centers, regularly supplying them with new customers from among their readers. According to preliminary information, the perpetrators received a monetary reward for each victim," the statement reads.
During searches conducted in the office and at the addresses of the organizers of this illegal activity, law enforcement officers found and seized:
- computer equipment and mobile devices with evidence of receiving orders to promote publications promoting anti-vaccination and participation in protests; promotion of fraudulent and phishing sites;
- over 500 forged electronic copies of identity documents of citizens of Ukraine;
- hardware and software that allows you to anonymously administer a large number of accounts;
- over 100 bank cards used to anonymize payments received for illegal services.
Currently, in the framework of criminal proceedings under p. 2 of Art. 190 (fraud) and Art. 200 (illegal actions with documents for transfer, payment cards and other means of access to bank accounts, electronic money, equipment for their production) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, investigative actions are underway to bring to justice all persons involved in the scheme.
Earlier, in Ukraine there was a bot farm, which tried to disrupt the national vaccination program against Covid-19.
In late August, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has prevented attempts by the Russian special services to destabilize the socio-political situation in the southern regions of Ukraine.
It was established that several local residents were part of the enemy organization. They received information for their "publications" from the propaganda Internet resources of the Russian Federation, as well as from the websites of illegal armed groups of the so-called "LPR/DPR".