Facebook/Meta said Russia-linked threat actors are attempting to use the social network against Ukraine with hate speech, bullying, and fake news.

Facebook/Meta revealed that Russia-linked threat actors are attempting to weaponize the social network to target Ukraine. The company blocked about 200 accounts operated from Russia that were used to falsely report people for various violations, including hate speech, bullying, and inauthenticity, in an attempt to have them and their posts removed from the platform.

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Most of these fictitious reports focused on people in Ukraine and Russia, but the network also reported users in Israel, the United States, and Poland.

The social network giant uncovered Russia and Belarus nation-state actors engaged in cyber espionage and covert influence operations online. The threat actors targeted the Ukrainian telecom industry; both global and Ukrainian defense and energy sectors, tech platforms, and journalists and activists in Ukraine, Russia, and abroad.

“These operations appear to have intensified shortly before the Russian invasion. For example, we detected and disrupted recidivist CIB activity linked to the Belarusian KGB who suddenly began posting in Polish and English about Ukrainian troops surrendering without a fight and the nation’s leaders fleeing the country on February 24, the day Russia began the war. Prior to that, this particular threat actor primarily focused on accusing Poland of mistreating migrants from the Middle East.” reads the report published by Meta. “On March 14, they pivoted back to Poland and created an event in Warsaw calling for a protest against the Polish government. We disabled the account and event that same day.”

Meta also spotted cyber espionage campaigns and psyops conducted by Belarus-linked APT Ghostwriter group. The APT group has attempted to hack into the Facebook accounts of dozens of Ukrainian military personnel, in some cases they posted videos calling on the Army to surrender as if these posts were coming from the legitimate account owners. Meta revealed to have blocked the sharing of these videos.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Meta)

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