A report released on Thursday by a cybersecurity company Nisos said Moscow-based 0day Technologies could spread disinformation at a frightening rate using a package tied to a malicious network. The company previously cooperated with the FSB. In their operations, they use a botnet that can manipulate trends in social networks on a “mass scale.”
The report is based on documents and other materials leaked from 0day Technologies and distributed by a group of hackers-activists “Digital Revolution” in March 2020.
Botnets are networks of malware-infected devices that cybercriminals use to coordinate malicious activity. Hackers use them to conduct cyberattacks, cryptocurrency mining, spam, and other illegal things.
In this case, it is assumed that 0Day Technologies owned a botnet codenamed “Fronton”, which was equipped with a set of tools that can generate fake profiles on social networks and distribute unreliable content on a large scale. The package, called SANA, allowed the user to “formulate and deploy trending events on social media.” This means that SANA can organize what the report calls “newsbreaks” or mass-coordinated publications that create “information ‘noise’” around a brand or company and attract media attention.
“SANA provides for the creation of social media persona accounts, including email and phone number provisioning. In addition, the system provides facilities for creating these newsbreaks on a schedule or reactive basis,” the report notes.
One example of the use of this botnet is the ridicule of a large wooden squirrel that was installed in Kazakhstan in 2018. So be careful what you read and/or believe when you browsing the Internet. After all, platforms like Twitter and Facebook are very vulnerable to disinformation flows.