The SBU neutralized 35 bot farms and initiated increased responsibility for their creation
Since the beginning of 2022, cyber specialists of the Security Service of Ukraine have neutralized 35 bot farms. The head of the Cyber Security Department of the SBU, Ilya Vityuk, stated this on the air of the national telethon.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have stopped the operation of 35 bot farms. That is, the cyber security department systematically opposes the informational aggression of the Russian Federation, preventing the social and political situation in our country from being shaken,” he emphasized.
In particular, just in the last few days, bot farms were exposed in the Kyiv region, Odessa region, and the capital, which, among other things, discredited Ukrainian defenders, spread panic and spread Russian narratives.
According to Ilya Vityuk, bot farms are usually created as a fraudulent tool for scaling informational influence on certain audiences.
At the same time, responsibility for such a crime should be strengthened.
After all, today, the creation of a bot farm is classified as unauthorized interference in the work of electronic computing networks (Article 361 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of 2 to 6 years.
At the same time, many bot farms work for Russian special services. Therefore, it is worth qualifying such actions as aiding the aggressor state or treason, which entails a much higher level of responsibility.
“Our specialists are developing relevant initiatives and changes to the legislation. We believe it is necessary to separate the question of the qualification of actions – in particular, the creation and operation of boat and troll farms – into a separate crime because of its public danger, especially in wartime,” said Ilya Vityuk.
He reminded that the cyber war against Ukraine started back in 2014, and the Russian Federation uses various tools of influence in it.
For example, the million-dollar bot farm recently exposed by the SBU, organized by a political technologist-citizen of the Russian Federation who moved to Ukraine, was used not only by individual political forces in Ukraine but also by Russian special services.