Russia-Ukraine War Live Updates: Negotiations Begin in Belarus

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said on Sunday night that it had shut down influence and hacking campaigns targeting its users in Ukraine. These efforts are tied to people in Russia and Ukraine, as well as a hacking group believed to have links to Belarus, Meta executives said.

One operation distributed links to misleading news articles that declared Ukraine a “failed nation” and included messages in support of the Russian government. Meta says they have found evidence that the attempt is linked other activities The company revealed in 2020 includes two publishers, News Front and South Front. The publishers operate out of Crimea and have long been used for propaganda aimed at enemies of the Kremlin.

The influence network engages in what Facebook calls “coordinated disinformation,” or groups of Facebook accounts and pages that operate under fake names and profile pictures to spread targeted messages across the platform. foundation.

Meta officials said the campaign received less than 5,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram before being taken offline.

Meta said the disinformation campaign is active on other social media platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, European social network VK, Russian social platform Odnoklassniki and chat app Telegram.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company has removed more than a dozen accounts that participated in the campaigns and blocked some links from being shared on Twitter. A Twitter spokesperson said: “The accounts and links are of Russian origin and are attempting to disrupt public conversation around the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Meta said it also detected an active attack against military leaders and politicians in Ukraine, as well as at least one journalist. According to Meta, the effort is related to the Ghostwriter hacking group, which tries to take over these famous accounts and then use them to spread misinformation.

Ghostwriter has been targeting politicians in Eastern Europe for several years, frequently promoting narratives opposing NATO and the United States. The hacking group has long been believed to have links to Russia. But in November, the threat intelligence company Mandiant discovered that the group had links to Belarus.

“Ghostwriter has previously targeted the NATO alliance, seeking to erode support for the organization,” Ben Read, director at Mandiant, said in a statement. “I wouldn’t be surprised if similar activities are seen in the near future.”

A handful of well-known individuals have been targeted and several Facebook accounts have been compromised, Meta executives said. Some of the posts on those accounts attempted to depict the surrender of the Ukrainian army, sharing videos of soldiers coming out of the woods waving white flags. In some cases, Facebook can block hackers from posting.

David Agranovich, threat director at Meta, said: “Historically, what we’ve seen from Ghostwriter is targeting militaries, public figures, journalists and politicians across Europe. Europe. “Since the invasion, we’ve seen a shift in Ghostwriter’s focus on people in Ukraine.”

Meta is among a number of social media companies in Silicon Valley that are under pressure as Russian agents attempt to spread digital propaganda campaigns across the internet in tandem with President Vladimir’s siege of Ukraine. Putin.

Meta has focused on taking action against entities that violate corporate policies governing conduct on its platform. Meta, YouTube and Twitter have also blocked Russian state media from monetizing their pages on the platform. Russia-Ukraine War Live Updates: Negotiations Begin in Belarus

Fry Electronics Team

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