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Ukrainian cyber police busts large-scale bot farm discrediting Defense Forces and spreading Russian propaganda


Ukrainian cyber police busts large-scale bot farm discrediting Defense Forces and spreading Russian propaganda

In a significant operation, the Ukrainian Cyber Police has successfully dismantled a massive bot farm that was involved in discrediting the Defense Forces of Ukraine while spreading propaganda in favor of Russia. The operation took place on June 17, 2023, and marked a major victory in the fight against cyber threats targeting Ukraine’s national security.

The bot farm, masterminded by a group of individuals from Vinnytsia, consisted of three residents aged 30, 38, and 42. Their illicit operation revolved around the creation and management of over 4,000 bots, with the group registering approximately 500 anonymous accounts on social networks, messengers, and online trading platforms on a daily basis.

The primary objective of these bot accounts was to undermine the reputation of the Defense Forces of Ukraine, propagate false narratives justifying Russia’s armed aggression, manipulate public opinion among Ukrainians in favor of the enemy, and sow discord to destabilize the socio-political landscape within the country.

In addition to their malicious activities aimed at spreading propaganda, the fake accounts were also utilized for fraudulent purposes on various online trading platforms, allowing the perpetrators to monetize their activities. Payments for the services rendered by the bot farm were received in Russian rubles, further pointing to their association with external entities.

As a result of the successful operation, criminal proceedings have been initiated under Part 5 of Article 361 of the Civil Code, which entails severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to 15 years. The authorities are currently considering the issuance of suspicion notices to the individuals involved, marking a crucial step towards holding them accountable for their actions.

The Ukrainian Cyber Police, committed to safeguarding the nation’s cybersecurity and countering disinformation campaigns, continues to collaborate with international partners to identify and neutralize cyber threats that pose a risk to national security. This operation underscores the importance of proactive measures in combating the spread of propaganda and ensuring the integrity of Ukraine’s information ecosystem.

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