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Hackers seek to spread disinformation and fake videos from Ukraine on Facebook

A group of cyber criminals attempted to hack accounts Facebook of Ukrainian military personnel and published videos asking the Ukrainian army to surrender, according to Goal, parent company of Facebook.

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This campaign was carried out by a group known as UNC1151, which has been linked to the government of Belarus, according to the investigation carried out.

A February security update from Meta identified activity by this group dubbed as “ghostwriters.” or ghostwriter. Since then, the group has tried to compromise “dozens” of more accounts, although it had only been successful in a few cases.

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These attackers especially use the phishing to encourage its victims to click on links that lead to malicious sites to steal their passwords.

The cybercriminals were able to post videos with fake messages, which appeared to come from the affected accounts, but Meta said it had blocked such content from further sharing.

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“These dangerous actors are not going to give up,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, told a news conference. “And they tend more and more to combine different approaches,” he added.

In addition to the aforementioned attacks, a variety of other actions carried out by pro-Russian actors are also detailed in the company’s report. Meta even alleged that a group tried to organize a protest event against the Polish government in Warsaw, although the event and the account that he created it quickly went offline.

The platform must not only deal with the already classic disinformation campaigns through networks through false accounts, but also with other tactics such as mobbing or the chase.

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200 accounts were deleted in Russia

Meta removed a network of 200 accounts in Russia for making massive false accusations mainly against Ukrainian and Russian individuals.

The network operated with false, duplicate and authentic accounts, whose behavior was detected by the platform’s automatic systems. The company indicates in its report that mass reporting efforts increased in mid-February, just before the invasion of Ukraine.

As regards false behavior that is distributed in a coordinated way, the company removed a relatively “small” network that used fake accounts (27 from Facebook and four from Instagram, although it also had a presence on other platforms) to attack users from Ukraine, a country where it operated alongside Russia.

Meta links this network with another eliminated two years ago that operated from Russia, the Ukrainian region of Donbas and Crimea.

The technology company also updated its actions in Ukraine. In this regard, he highlighted that there were attempts to return to the platform by state and non-state actors previously removed from it, in addition to spam networks that use deceptive tactics to monetize public attention on the ongoing war.

cyber espionage

In turn, Meta detected two cyber-espionage campaigns in Iran, one of them directed against key industries and infrastructures of industries such as energy, telecommunications, maritime logistics or information technology; and in Azerbaijan, against civil society and operated by the Ministry of the Interior.

In South America, the company disrupted operations for coordinated inauthentic behavior in Brazil, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.

On the other hand, in the Philippines, it removed a network in charge of shutting down websites and damaging them and as well as tens of thousands of accounts, pages and groups around the world for deploying a spam campaign to monetize people’s attention on the upcoming elections in the country.

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