Espreso. Global

Whose idea to create chatbot for Ukrainian military in Russian Telegram?

29 June, 2024 Saturday

I'll be frank: launching a public chatbot Army+ in Telegram for the military and their families is something only the FSB could have come up with*


During the war against Russia, to create an online service for the Ukrainian military on a product fully controlled by Russia - I do not believe in such an advanced phase of mental retardation. It's more like a completely deliberate sabotage.

I've been talking about the radical harmfulness of the enemy's Telegram product for five years now - exactly as long as the young team of fans of this Kremlin social network has been in power. The investigation will show how much of this love is free.

But even if someone considers all my hopeless appeals to be conspiracy theories, who naively believes in the "Telegram was blocked in Russia" play staged by the Russian special services, or who fell for Durov's stupid "Telegram is registered in Dubai" hoax, let's talk about simpler things, more understandable. A bit technical, but bear with me.

So, the Army+ chatbot is not encrypted, and the data is collected on Telegram servers. Well, this is a feature: for the sake of speed and ease of use, security is sacrificed. Because end-to-end encryption slows down the data transfer speed: unfortunately, this is its feature.

All messengers have to make this difficult choice: speed or user security. While Signal, Threema, WhatsApp, and even Viber decided that security was more important, Durov deliberately chose not to go for security. He wanted ordinary people to mutter "but it's convenient" and use it as often as possible.

And the lack of encryption in the Army+ chatbot and the storage of data on Telegram's servers means only one thing: all requests will be read and analyzed by the enemy. Each user of the chatbot can be identified.

Further, it is possible to determine their affiliation with a military unit, geolocation, approximate or exact coordinates. And much more. The same goes for family members: the enemy will now know who the wife, brother, father, child is, where they are, so they can be found, intimidated, blackmailed, killed by Novichok poison, etc.

Based on the nature and statistics of the most frequently asked questions, the chatbot can identify the pain points of the Ukrainian military system and target them with information attacks.

The official chatbot can also be used to conduct targeted information special operations: for example, ... but no, I won't give you any hints.

All the world's intelligence services know about all these features of Telegram and use it effectively - including ours, by the way.

But to create an official chatbot on Russian Telegram, where Ukrainian servicemen and their families can be easily identified, could only be done by a deliberate enemy of Ukraine. Someone who holds a high public office, steals millions of dollars from the Ukrainian budget, helps Russian businesses in Ukraine, blocks petitions to ban Russian Telegram, and deliberately pursues a destructive state policy in the field of digitalisation. 

And he doesn't care about all your posts in social media. These scum are only afraid of force - just like their moldering masters. They are afraid that outraged people will come to the walls of their mansions and luxurious offices, as they did in 2004 and 2014.

I wonder where the "last straw" is now. What will make Ukrainians throw the FSB agents out of power in Ukraine? Publication of lists of military units? Publication of the addresses, passports and personal data of all inconvenient investigative journalists and their relatives? Announcing "elections in Diia app"? Public burning of inconvenient bloggers at the intersection of Dilova and Antonovycha streets? None of the above, even combined?

I repeat: the Kremlin's intelligence agents are deployed at the highest levels of government in Ukraine. And the Army+ project on Telegram is a direct proof of this.

But for some reason, the State Security Service stubbornly "does not notice" this.


* Published with the author's style preserved

About the author. Kostiantyn Korsun, cybersecurity expert

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of blogs. 

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