Facebook says it has taken down a shadowy hacking group that is ramping up its efforts to attack Ukrainian military officials and other targets such as Kyiv against the Russian invasion.
In an announcement early Monday morning, security officials at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said they had “seen an increase in targeting of users of the Ukrainian social network by a group of hacks that the researchers said has been linked to the development of the social network.” study called “Ghostwriter”. After discovering a group of phishing websites used by the group, Meta said it blocked domains on its social media platforms to protect users.
Cybersecurity company Mandiant Ghostwriter was first identified in 2020 and late last year linked its attacks to Belarusian government. Since March 2017, Ghostwriters have been breaking into legitimate news websites to create fake stories with NATO and COVID-19 conspiracy theories. The group’s hackers have also impersonated famous political figures, military officials and journalists to try to spread fake stories via email.
Separately, Meta officials said they removed a “small” troll network of 40 accounts “operating from Russia and Ukraine” that the company found was targeting Ukrainian audiences with false information about Ukraine.
The crappy puppet accounts used AI-generated avatars and pretended to be “news editor, a former aeronautical engineer” and a hydrological scientist who ran the pages and resources. fake news accounts on Facebook, Telegram, YouTube, VK and other social media platforms. The network they belonged to took advantage of fake news outlets to post stories that exaggerated claims of “the West betrayed Ukraine and Ukraine is a failed country” and the like. , according to Meta.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, Meta has rolled out a series of new security features for users in Ukraine, allowing accounts to quickly lock down their privacy settings and prevent others from viewing photos. representatives and their posts. On Monday, the company said it would also begin rolling out these features to users in Russia, where the government has blocked Russians’ ability to access the social networking platform.