Political figures, journalists, dissenters, and military officials from Ukraine are being targeted by hackers via fake accounts, Meta’s security wing reveals. The parent company for Facebook mentioned taking down more than 40 fake accounts and pages operating on different apps owned by the company. The company said those entities, in the form of pages, groups, or accounts violated the company’s “coordinated inauthentic behavior” rules.
The group is referred to as “Ghostwriter” that uses artificial intelligence to produce similar and authentic-looking stories of the West and NATO sidelining and abandoning Ukraine. They recently launched a proper campaign with the support of and promotion of Russia’s rhetoric of a necessary war, declaring Ukraine a “failed state”.
“Amid ongoing #Russian invasion in #Ukraine, #Facebook owner, Meta Platforms said a hacking group used Facebook to target a handful of public figures in Ukraine, including prominent military officials, politicians and a journalist.”
The group was previously thought to be associated with the Russian administration but was revealed to be directly connected to the state of Belarus, a Russian ally. The group was not only attacking and trying to hack into major Ukrainian accounts but also spreading major disinformation regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Nick Clegg, the head of global affairs at Meta also confirmed, “The Ukrainians have also suggested that we remove access to Facebook and Instagram in Russia. However, people in Russia are using [the platforms] to protest and organize against the war and as a source of independent information.”
The company only mentioned “very low level” traction to the disinformation campaigns, without revealing too much about the views or shares on the posts. No information regarding the campaign’s starting date or time was released either.
Twitter also confirmed they took down several accounts and blocked activities for “manipulation and spam” content. They revealed the accounts were investigated to be originating from Russia, and attempting to derail the conversation around the dispute. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is on its 5th day, as fighting and attempts to advance within the country continue in Kharkiv, and Kyiv, two of the largest cities in the country. Some people continue to try and flee the country, meanwhile, others try to take up arms or aid the military in the fight against Russian occupying forces.