13:04 01 Mar 2021

SBU officers stop the operation of a bot farm working for Russia

Photo: SBU press center

Through the efforts of the Security Service of Ukraine, the activities of a bot farm with a capacity of more than 18,000 accounts, commissioned by the aggressor country and pro-Russian political forces in Ukraine, were blocked.

The SBU press center stated.

During the pre-trial investigation, SBU investigators established that the bot farm was organized by three Kyiv residents. They registered the accounts in banned Russian e-mail services. In particular, in October last year, during the local council elections, criminals disseminated unreliable information about the situation in Ukraine. They artificially increased social tension in society. They were engaged in "winding up" the number of votes in opinion polls, artificially increasing the number of commissioned reposts and comments of individual public opinion leaders and politicians.

Payment for services was made through banned Russian e-wallets. It allowed them to ensure the anonymity of customers who ordered support for the necessary messages on social networks. The cost varied depending on the complexity of the technical tasks and the specifics of the target audience.

During searches at the location of a bot farm in one of Kyiv communes of residence, law enforcement officers found software products on the server equipment that are under sanctions. They confiscated computer equipment and SIM cards of mobile operators used in illegal activities.

Within the criminal proceedings under 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, urgent investigative measures proceed.

To recap, please meet, bot! How to detect and counter fake accounts on social networks

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