Pro-Russian Hackers Ramp Up Use of Facebook, Its Parent Company Says

Hackers affiliated with the governments of Russia and Belarus have turned their consideration to Ukraine because the Russian invasion started in February, trying to make use of Fb for cyberespionage and disinformation campaigns, the social community’s father or mother firm, Meta, mentioned on Thursday.

Among the hackers, who had been targeted on disinformation campaigns in Poland and the West, instantly pivoted their consideration to Ukraine, the place they started attempting to unfold false messages a couple of Ukrainian navy give up, Meta executives mentioned. Others blamed Russia’s invasion on NATO and accused Ukrainian forces of killing civilians, whereas novice hackers tried to unfold disinformation, take away Fb accounts that criticized the invasion and revenue off the disaster by way of scams.

“Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we’ve seen assaults on web freedom and entry to info intensifying sharply,” mentioned Nick Clegg, Meta’s president for international affairs. The corporate has scrambled in latest weeks to average conversations in regards to the battle on its platform, whereas additionally warding off hackers.

Ghostwriter, a hacking group affiliated with Belarus, has continued its efforts to interrupt into dozens of Ukrainian navy officers’ Fb accounts and submit false messages a couple of give up, Meta mentioned in a broader quarterly report about cyberattacks and disinformation on its platform. The corporate, which disclosed related efforts by Ghostwriter final month, blocked the group from posting movies purporting to point out surrendering troopers, mentioned Ben Nimmo, Meta’s international menace intelligence lead for affect operations.

One other group linked to the Belarusian Ok.G.B., which had targeted on spreading disinformation in Poland, switched its focus to Ukraine because the battle started and in addition tried to unfold false give up messages, Meta mentioned in its report.

Russia’s Web Analysis Company, which has been identified for creating deceptive social media profiles and utilizing them to unfold disinformation, arrange an internet site final yr to unfold messages about police violence within the West and tried to arrange Fb accounts in January and February to spice up content material from the web site, Meta executives mentioned. Meta blocked the profiles however seen that, upon the invasion, the group instantly started creating articles blaming NATO for the struggle in Ukraine and accusing the Ukrainian navy of focusing on civilians.

Civilians additionally jumped into the web battle, Meta mentioned. Within the Luhansk area of Ukraine, web sites and social media accounts that had promoted pro-Russian commentary have been taken over by hackers, who directed their audiences to Telegram channels that confirmed photographs of Russian casualties. And in Russia, customers established a Fb group that presupposed to be for sharing cooking ideas however was then used to mass-report profiles that criticized the invasion in an effort to get Fb to take away them.

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