Cyber operatives with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have exposed a powerful bot farm, based in Kyiv, which was used by Russia’s assets to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the international community.
That’s according to the SBU press office, Ukrinform reports.
"On the instructions of their ‘handlers,’ the perpetrators had been circulating across social networks anti-Ukrainian messages and misinformation about the outcome of the Crimea Platform (summit – ed.). The culprits focused their main efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and Tik-Tok," the statement said.
They have employed more than 15,000 anonymous accounts to spread distorted facts and outright misinformation, posting on behalf of "ordinary citizens."
The inquiry established that a group of four Kyiv residents are among those who set up the criminal scheme.
The criminals are believed to have been paid for their work from Russia, through a number of e-payment systems that are formally banned in Ukraine.
During searches, law enforcers seized 300 internet modems; several thousand SIM cards; dozens of mobile terminals and computer hardware with evidence of unlawful activity.
Within the criminal proceedings under Art. 361 of the Criminal Code (unauthorized interference in the electronic computer systems (computers), automated systems, computer networks or telecommunications networks), further inquiry is underway to establish all circumstances of the offense and bring to justice those complicit.
As Ukrinform reported, in late August in Kherson, the SBU exposed a group of Russian intelligence assets tasked with compromising the Crimea Platform initiative across social media.