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The bot farm is a secret Roskomnadzor project

Roskomnadzor will launch bots that will penetrate the communities of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians in May 2023. With their help they are going to obtain information even from closed chats and create influence groups that will broadcast certain ideas and sentiments, including creating the effect of a majority satisfied with the Kremlin’s policies.


This is how Roskomnadzor's censors help Putin retain power in the face of severe condemnation from the entire civilized world. This is especially important on the eve of the upcoming Russian presidential elections in 2024.


The Bot Farm project is not in the public registers of Roskomnadzor. But thanks to the hacking network of his subordinate department the “General Radio Frequency Centre” (GRFC) the CyberPartisans obtained secret documents that relate to this system. In this article we reveal who is responsible for the creation of this Bot Farm and exactly how they plan to use it.

 

When And Why Is a Bot Farm Launched?


The staff of the GRFC began developing the Bot Farm in the summer of 2022. The work is scheduled to be completed in May 2023.

Screenshot from the document "9_Паспорт_проекта_Бот_ферма_АС_ЧИ_вер_1_1552825092201.docx"

One of the project documents states, that the Bot Farm is needed for the following purposes:

  • Creation of personal accounts for personal use.

  • Creation of influence groups.

 

Who Creates Bots


The project team consists mainly of analysts and developers.

Screenshot from the document "Назначение_команды_на_Бот_ферма_АС_ЧИ.docx"

Its head is Vladislav Dmitrievich Kovalev — deputy head of the Internal Projects Department.


LLC Neobit is also involved in the implementation. This company is engaged in the development of other automated systems for censorship. Its technical director, Dmitriy Moskvin, is a member of the Expert Council of the GRFC of Roskomnadzor for Artificial Intelligence and takes an active part in it.

 

What Bots Can Do And What They Look Like


As conceived by Roskomnadzor, the bot farm will allow:

  • The creation of many accounts that look like the accounts of real people.

  • They could use them to infiltrate open and closed Internet communities in order to find materials that would be dangerous from the point of view of censors.

  • To disseminate certain publications, ideas and opinions.


This automation will allow such fake accounts to be unique. They will able not to overlap with each other in photos, posts, and comments. As if they were all real users with their own histories, interests, and activities.


When creating bots, the system operator assigns each of them a behaviour profile, age, place of residence, intensity of activity, interests, and history. On the screen you can see a sample interface of the Autobot system, which is presented in the internal documents of Roskomnadzor.

Screenshot from the document "АвтоБот-ПЗ.docx"

Bots are programmed to perform all actions based on given psychological portraits. For example, to add users who studied at the same university to their friends, to subscribe to a community of interest, and so on.


The operator sets up only the initial settings, and then the bots function autonomously on social networks and messengers. They can add and delete photos, audio recordings, write posts, change statuses, give likes, and even write personal messages to other users. At the same time, the operator can control their behavior at any time, changing settings and giving them certain tasks. All of this can be done with a single bot or a group of bots.

Screenshot from the document "АвтоБот-ПЗ.docx"
 

What Social Networks And Messengers Will Bots is going to be launched?


You can see that list of social networks and messengers below. They include VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Live Journal, Youtube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram. In other words, these are all platforms popular in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

There are plans to create from 20 to 100 bots for one purpose or another. However, the passport of the project states that the number of bots may not be limited and can be scaled up depending on the tasks.

 

How Do They Plan To Implement Bots?


So how will social media allow an army of Roskomnadzor bots through? Their experts, in turn, are constantly developing new algorithms to identify and block such accounts. Therefore, when registering a new account, we often have to leave a telephone number or e-mail or enter verification codes and captchas.


Чтобы обойти эти приемы, в Роскомнадзоре собираются использовать систему, которая автоматически подбирает ботам разные айпи адреса, виртуальные номера телефонов, одноразовые электронные почты, уникальные отпечатки браузера и даже вводит коды подтверждения.


To circumvent these tricks, Roskomnadzor is going to use a system which automatically picks up different IP addresses, virtual phone numbers, disposable emails, unique browser fingerprints and even enters confirmation codes. Interestingly, Roskomnadzor's circumvention documents bot recognition system, the possibility of shady purchase of SIM cards or ready-made accounts on the black market is openly considered.

Screenshot from the document "АвтоБот-ПЗ.docx"

Cooperation with external providers is also mentioned as a solution to the registration problem. Roskomnadzor plans to take mobile phone numbers from five virtual number providers. For registration via e-mail, several one-time mail services are available, and automatic registration of accounts on mail sites has been implemented. In addition, there are several other services, which help to automatically pass the captcha and provide each bot with a personal IP address. Unfortunately, the names of these services are not mentioned in the documentation.


At the same time, the farm should make it possible to use bots for other monitoring systems developed by Roskomnadzor, for example, to work in conjunction with the Vepr system. It is also set to launch in 2023.


The Vepr system is designed to identify so-called tension points in society. In other words, online resources where any dissatisfaction with the current situation in Russia is expressed. The system is supposed to capture texts of criticism and predict the extent to which the negativity is spreading, so that the authorities can quell discontent in its initial stages.


It can be assumed that the bot farm is needed to detect criticism even in closed communities and to create a satisfied majority effect. So that critics feel less supportive in their statements.


In the future, we will go into more detail about how the Vepr system works, and how to distinguish a bot from a real person. Follow updates on CyberPartisan's channels on Telegram!

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