The SSU cyber specialists uncovered and dismantled two bot farms in Lviv with a total capacity of 18,000 fake accounts," an SSU press release said.
Russian handlers apparently supervised the administrators of the bot farms.
Three people in two different residences were involved. Two gave over their apartments to the operation while a third took care of maintaining the accounts and equipment.
The bot farms worked mostly in social networks: distributed fakes to spread panic, the press release said. "The bots also published false information about bomb threats at various facilities."
The SSU seized two sets of GSM gateways, 3,000 SIM cards, laptops, and accounting records. GSM gateways are equipment that allows people to use SIM cards to connect to networks outside the default network they're meant to be connected to.
They're popular tools for hackers and other cyber criminals, who can use them to manage several phone numbers, and to connect to Voice Over IP, or VoIP networks. The photos of the bust show dozens of GSM gateways stuffed with blurred SIM cards.