The attribution for the operation points to the Russian special services, members of which are already facing criminal proceedings under Article 110 (encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine), but no operator arrests are mentioned in the SSU announcement.
The Ukrainian Security Service (SSU) has announced that since the start of the war with Russia, it has discovered and shut down five bot farms with over 100,000 fake social media accounts spreading fake news, reports the website Bleeping Computer.
The network, which operated in Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Ternopil, and Zakarpattia, aimed to discourage Ukrainian citizens and instill panic by distributing false information about the Russian invasion and the status of the defenders.
According to the SSU’s announcement, the goal of the network was to destabilize the sociopolitical situation in various regions, thus curbing the resistance of the Ukrainian militia.
The law enforcement agency in Ukraine raided the locations that hosted the bot farms and seized the following items:
- 100 sets of GSM gateways
- 10,000 SIM cards for various mobile operators to disguise the fraudulent activity
- Laptops and computers used for controlling and coordinating the bots
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