September 29, 2023

Ukraine’s Cyber Police shut down one more bot farm that was reportedly spreading disinformation in regards to the struggle in Ukraine on social media, only one month after the same illicit operation was raided in west-central Ukraine.

The newly found bot farm was bigger than earlier ones, with over 100 people taking part from varied areas throughout Ukraine. Bot farm directors created faux accounts on varied social media platforms utilizing round 150,000 SIM playing cards from completely different cellular operators, authorities stated.

These bots carried out data and psychological operations on behalf of Russia, together with justifying the actions of Russian troopers in Ukraine and distributing unlawful content material, officers introduced on Monday.

The Ukrainian cyber police have additionally accused the bot farm directors of web fraud, together with the unlawful sharing of private information of Ukrainian residents and spreading faux messages about purported safety threats.

Throughout the investigation, legislation enforcement performed 21 searches and seized pc tools, cell phones, and SIM playing cards.

Bot farms have been utilized by Russia to unfold propaganda and create panic through the struggle. The folks concerned in operating the bot farms normally obtain funds in Russian rubles, which is a prohibited foreign money in Ukraine. To transform the rubles into usable funds, the perpetrators principally use sanctioned fee programs like WebMoney and PerfectMoney to transform the funds into cryptocurrency and switch it to financial institution playing cards.

Confiscated SIM playing cards. Picture: Ukraine Cyber Police

Directors sometimes arrange bot farms in their very own properties or in abandoned buildings, the place they use servers and SIM playing cards to create and run faux accounts.

Unauthorized interference within the operation of data and digital communication networks is taken into account a criminal offense beneath the Ukrainian Prison Code, and can lead to jail time.

Get extra insights with the

Recorded Future

Intelligence Cloud.

Study extra.

Daryna Antoniuk

Daryna Antoniuk
is a contract reporter for Recorded Future Information primarily based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Jap Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She beforehand was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has additionally been printed at Sifted, The Kyiv Impartial and The Kyiv Put up.