September 30, 2023

Social media groups dedicated to cryptocurrencies in Russia have been attacked by bots that look like bitcoin and a similar campaign. His comments on Russia’s largest social media platform have been triggered by certain keywords such as crypto and blockchain, community members have noticed.

Bots flood Vkontakte group with comments against cryptocurrency

Over the past week, crypto-themed groups on Russia’s state-controlled social network Vkontakte (VK) are seeing an increasing number of comments intended to discredit cryptocurrencies and related technologies, crypto news outlets Bits.Media and RBC Crypto reported.

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Comments appear under posts and linked articles about crypto assets. They are all the same, for example: “It’s more expensive to delve into crypto, it’s always bigger risk,” “Who still talks about bitcoin?” or “The people discussing crypto don’t even understand it.”

According to Nikita Zuborev, senior analyst at the exchange aggregator, these bots first appeared on Vkontakte on February 13, on the community and official page of their platform. Accounts are typical for such attacks and only recently registered or inactive accounts have been stolen.

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Bots are often used to spread spam and advertisements or attract users for fraudulent schemes but not this time. The messages lack external links and their content is limited to abstract criticism of activities such as cryptocurrencies and trading.

The press service of Vkontakte told RBC that the company “does not register an increase in the number of bots on the platform” and assured that its moderators “promptly respond” to complaints about bots that massively post the same information. We do.

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Zuborev also commented that it is still difficult to establish what exactly the bots are responding to. According to their comments, they ignore posts containing images, but are triggered by words such as “binance,” “bitcoin,” or “blockchain.” Attacks have intensified this week, the analyst said.

Crypto channel on Telegram not affected by bot attacks

Sergei Mendeleev, CEO of defi banking platform Indefibank, said that it is difficult to understand the meaning and effectiveness of such a campaign against cryptocurrencies, as most of the Russian-speaking crypto community does not use this social platform “for obvious reasons”.

Mendeleev believes that someone ordered the attacks so that they could later refer to “the huge amount of negative comments on the most popular social networks”. The expert pointed out that no such attack has been observed in crypto channels on Telegram.

Vkontakte was founded in 2006 by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov who later launched the Telegram messenger. In April 2014, Durov was dismissed from the post of CEO of VK. He suggested that the move was due to his refusal to hand over personal user details to Russian law enforcement agencies, including members of a group dedicated to the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, and left Russia.

In September of the same year, Group became the sole owner of the company. In December, 2021, Russian state-owned bank Gazprombank and insurance company Sogaz bought 57.3% of VK’s shares, becoming holders of its controlling interest. Vkontakte recently launched an NFT service.

Who do you think is behind the attacks on crypto groups on Vkontakte? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.

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