SBU exposes bot farms helping Russians hack phones of Ukrainian military

SBU exposes bot farms helping Russians hack phones of Ukrainian military

The Security Service of Ukraine neutralized two bot farms that helped Russian intelligence hack into the phones of Ukrainian defenders and spread Kremlin propaganda.

That’s according to the SBU press office, Ukrinform reports.

One of the bot farms operated in the town of Korosten, Zhytomyr region. The SBU, together with the National Police, exposed a local resident there who, on the order of the Russian handlers, massively registered virtual local cell phone numbers and anonymous Telegram accounts.

The suspect would sell or rent out the activated "accounts" through specialized Russian platforms. Russian intelligence then used these numbers to hack the phones of the Ukrainian military. For this purpose, phishing e-mails were sent from anonymous numbers and Internet addresses registered in Ukraine.

Read also: SBU detains Russian missile strike spotter in Kharkiv

When the recipient opened the files containing malware, a spy virus was automatically downloaded to collect sensitive data.

Also, the Russians used anonymous bot farm accounts to spread Kremlin narratives allegedly on behalf of average Ukrainians.

The suspect installed specialized software in her own apartment. It was established that she managed to register more than 600 cell phone numbers.

Another bot farm operated in the city of Dnipro. There, law enforcement officers detained a 30-year-old local resident who registered almost 15,000 fictitious accounts on various social media platforms and in messengers. To this end, he used SIM cards of Ukrainian mobile operators.

The man sold the accounts on darknet forums, where the main buyers were representatives from the Russian special services.

Read also: SBU exposes 19-year-old Russian agent preparing attacks on hospitals and military universities

Both cases are under investigation.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, pro-Russian hackers who created fake accounts posing as those run by the head of the SBU, Vasyl Maliuk and defense intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov were detained in Kyiv.

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