The investigators of the Security Service collected a comprehensive evidence base and reported the suspicion to the organizer of the bot farm, which was eliminated by cyber specialists of the special service in 2021 in the Ivano-Frankivsk region.
The impersonator used almost 11,000 cards of one of the Ukrainian mobile operators to create fake accounts.
The “powers” of this bot farm were actively used by a large Russian Internet platform that illegally rents out other people’s phone numbers. This made it possible to create thousands of fake accounts in social networks, messengers, and video hosting. Because of them, there was a large-scale distortion of the information space and “fraud” of views, likes, and comments.
In this way, public consciousness was influenced, in particular, in the interests of enemy propaganda.
Currently, the organizer of the bot farm has been notified of suspicion under Part 2 of Art. 361 (unauthorized interference in the operation of automated systems and telecommunications networks, which led to leakage and falsification of information, distortion of the information processing process, violation of the established order of its routing, which caused significant damage) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
This offense is punishable by up to 6 years (according to the version of the article that was in effect at the time of the crime).
During the pre-trial investigation, it was established that the person involved proactively reached out to the Russians through a specialized Telegram channel and agreed on cooperation and payment. After that, he received detailed instructions on how to start the bot farm. Representatives of the Russian Federation gave him access to the software, and the attacker purchased the technical equipment for the operation of the bot farm himself.
The examination testified that the suspect used SIM-banks, which allow quick replacement of SIM cards and replacement of international mobile equipment identifiers (IMEI), to hide his illegal activities and avoid blocking by the operator.
As part of the pre-trial investigation, the collection of evidence of illegal activity continues.
SBU employees carry out documentation in the Ivano-Frankivsk region under the procedural guidance of the Ivano-Frankivsk regional prosecutor’s office.