Russian bot farm sends 5,000 messages to Ukrainian officers. To persuade them to surrender?

The Ukrainian Armed Forces quickly neutralized the operation.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Flag of Russia and Ukraine.3dmitry/iStock

There is no doubt that Russia is one of the world's most sophisticated cyber aggressors. In January, Ukraine accused the nation of being behind a cyberattack that targeted around 70 Ukrainian government websites.

At the time, a message in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish was posted on the hacked websites that said: "Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded onto the public internet. This is for your past, your present, and your future."

Now, it seems the warring nation is behind another cyber attack this time with the use of a bot farm. 

A Russian bot farm in action

Ukraine's intelligence service announced on a Facebook post on Thursday that Russian operatives had engineered a bot farm that sent 5,000 SMS messages to Ukrainian military and law enforcement officers requesting that they defect and surrender to the Russians.

It's unclear why the Russians would think such an attack would work but the Ukrainian Armed Forces further revealed in their Facebook post that the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) had managed to shut down the Russian bot farm, or "special information operation," which aimed to "shake the moral and psychological state of the Ukrainian security forces."

"The outcome of events is predetermined! Be prudent and refuse to support nationalism and discredited leaders of the country who have already fled the capital!!!" the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Facebook post also read.

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Fortifying Ukraine's dedication to its people

It seems indeed that the bot farm had the opposite effect fortifying Ukraine's dedication to its people and renewing its interest to protect its nation against Russian attacks. It also gave Ukraine another win to celebrate as the operation was quickly neutralized by the SSU.

Still, concerns remain that Russia could in the future use cyberwarfare to cripple Ukraine's infrastructure. Reports have revealed that the Russian military's warfare on Ukraine involves the country's cyber attacks against Ukrainian government websites and affiliated organizations through various malware including but not limited to activating a data-wiping malware dubbed HermeticWiper. Will the next attack be so easy to deflect?