Bits.media and RBC Crypto are reporting that over the past week, crypto-related groups on Russia’s Vkontakte social network website have been discovering an increasing number of comments that discredit cryptocurrencies and similar technologies.
These comments are appearing below posts and articles that are related to cryptocurrency assets. All of the comments seem to be similar. A few examples included statements such as:
“It’s more expensive to delve into crypto, it’s always big risks.”
“Someone still talks about bitcoins?”
“People who buzz about crypto don’t even understand it.”
According to a senior analyst at Bestchange.ru, Nikita Zuborev, the bots made their first appearance on February 13th, appearing first in his platform’s community and on Vkontakte’s official page. The bot accounts are the common types used for these types of attacks, primarily being new or stolen previously inactive accounts.
Bots are frequently used to distribute spam and advertising or to draw users into fraudulent schemes, However, this instance is different as the messages lack any external hyperlinks and the content is restricted to criticizing cryptocurrencies and related activities such as trading.
A Vkontakte representative told RBC that the firm “does not register an increase in the number of bots on the platform” and stated that site moderators “promptly respond to complaints” regarding bots that continue to post the same information over and over again.
Zuborev went on to say that it is challenging to determine exactly what it is that the bots are responding to. According to his findings, they seemingly ignore posts that contain images but go into action when posts containing words such as “Binance,” “Bitcoin,” or “Blockchain” are used. According to the analyst, the attacks have ramped up this week.
It’s difficult to understand the underlying meaning and overall effectiveness of these types of campaigns against cryptocurrencies said Sergey Mendeleev, the chief executive officer of Indefibank, as the majority of the Russian cryptocurrency community does not use this particular social media website, “for obvious reasons.”
Mendeleev feels that someone has ordered the bot attacks so that they will be able to later reference “the large volume of negative comments on the most popular social network.” He remarked that no similar attacks have been observed in cryptocurrency channels and services such as Telegram.
Vkontakte was originally founded in 2006 by Pavel Durov who went on to launch Telegram. In April of 2014, Durov was terminated as chief executive officer of Vkontakte. At that time, he indicated that the firing was attributable to his refusal to share personal user information with Russian law enforcement, including the details of members who were said to be behind the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine.
Later that year, the Mail.ru firm went on to become the company’s sole proprietor. In December 2021, Gazprombank, a Russian state-owned bank, and the Sogaz insurance company purchased 57.3% of the Vkontakte shares, and in doing so became the majority holders of the firm’s controlling interest.