The Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine has taken down another massive robot farm linked to more than 100 people after searching nearly two dozen locations.
Bots have been used to push Russian propaganda justifying Russia’s war in Ukraine, to spread illegal content and personal information, and in various other fraudulent activities.
In a joint operation, cyberpolice and Ukrainian national police units carried out 21 search operations in Vinnytsia, Zaporizhzhia and Lvivand.
They seized computer equipment, mobile phones, more than 250 GSM gateways and around 150,000 SIM cards from several mobile operators.
“Cyberpolice established that the attackers used special equipment and software to register thousands of bot accounts on various social networks and then launch advertisements that violated Ukraine’s standards and legislation,” a cyberpolice press release said. bed [machine translation].
“In addition to spreading hostile propaganda, the accounts have also been used for the unauthorized distribution of personal data of Ukrainian citizens on the Internet, in Internet fraud schemes, and to send known false messages regarding threats to citizen security, destruction or damage to property.”
Russian disinformation bot farms dismantled
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian threat actors have been involved in disinformation campaigns targeting Ukraine and have invested in Ukrainian-based robot farms.
For example, in September 2022, the Cyber Department of the Ukrainian Security Service (SSU) took down another army of thousands of bots spreading Russian disinformation on multiple messaging platforms and social media.
In August 2022, Ukrainian cyberpolice dismantled a huge robot farm of over 1,000,000 robots which has also been used to spread Russian disinformation and fake news on social media.
Months earlier, the SSU had also announced it shut down five fake news networks control over 100,000 fake social media accounts.
These disinformation bot farms operated from Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Ternopil and Zakarpattia to discourage Ukrainians and spread panic by spreading false information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also been the target of several disinformation campaigns, including two pushing deepfake video on facebook And hacked Ukrainian radio stations to spread fake news that Zelenskyy was in critical condition – Russian threat actors are believed to be behind both.