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MortWellian t1_jeafq1m wrote

Good thread with more coverage of the Vulkan Files

Edit: On a side note, with Twitter only putting "Twitter Blue" users in the "For You" tab, it's likely turning into an easily accessible vector for spreading disinfo, as long as Elmo gets his monthly payment.

> Russian Propagandists Are Using Paid Twitter Blue Checks to Spread Disinformation

Edit 2: Since this is under the Rus/Ukr tag, I might as well add this

> [The Same Russian Agents Who Meddled In US Politics Set The Stage For Ukraine Invasion] (

And the report the article above is based on

> Preliminary Lessons from Russia’s Unconventional Operations During the Russo- Ukrainian War, February 2022–February 2023 - Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (pdf)


darkkite t1_jeaw70q wrote

perhaps but paying is also a roadblock. see f2p games vs paid games in terms of botting.

it might also be possible to block suspicious payments.

this depends on twitter caring about cracking down on misinformation which is debatable as elon spreads it himself


Nymaz t1_jeazfo0 wrote

> it might also be possible to block suspicious payments

TwitterHQ: "Mr Musk, the Russian government is giving us money to spread falsehoods!"

TickleMeElon: "Oh no, we must put a stop to... snerk sorry, I couldn't keep a straight face! Rehire a couple of those guys we fired from the department stopping child porn and get them to set up a ruble-friendly payment portal."


OkStoopid666 t1_jeb5hzo wrote

That portal will necessarily have API endpoints available for mass subscription using whatever they’re using as a sock puppet orchestration platform. Gotta make that cheese


darkkite t1_jed3rqc wrote

I also have little faith in elon.

but having a paywall is objectively better than not having one if you're actually looking to block a hostile nation state


Pretend-Marsupial258 t1_jedj75f wrote

It's very convenient that we can stop a whole nation for only $8/month.


darkkite t1_jeehvny wrote

never said that. but it's better than making it free unlike op implied


Criticalhit_jk t1_jeazm1f wrote

Something tells me comparing video game bots in free VS paid games has shit all to do with russian state-sponsored misinformation and cyber warfare; especially when musk is seemingly doing everything he can to be a wex wuther


Matisaro t1_jec3wyv wrote

Yep, pointing out how spammers who have a profit motive do not waste effort on costly games is a bad comparison as Russia is not in it for capital profit.


BonghitsForBeavis t1_jeb0dxd wrote

it aligns with how the userbase reacts to an illicit flux of synthetic characters feigning unique human-ness..


protostar71 t1_jebjbhp wrote

You're saying this like its not happening as we speak


darkkite t1_jeb05dz wrote

it's a similar concept with different stakes.

point being, if it's free, than that's advantageous to bots.

if there's a credit card fee, then it introduced more friction especially because there are more regulations over what countries you can do business with.


skiptobunkerscene t1_jebdv8h wrote

This isnt stinky little Vlad Vodkavich who wants to aimbot after school, this is for political gains. Its worth the little payment.


purplewhiteblack t1_jebmfg1 wrote

My biggest thing about the checkmark was always "So what?"

You can tweet with or without one. 99% of people didn't have one. And I know celebrities are not always great sources of information. A tweet will be in your view either way. and that's text in your face.

Now you have to pay to have that tweet prioritized in the reply order. So, now misinformation campaigns are throwing money away, where they didn't have to before.

Thinking someone having a checkmark and is therefore credible has always been an ad verecundium logical fallacy.

The people most pissed about the checkmark thing were the people who bribed twitter employees to give them one. Simply because you applied didn't mean they would ever get back to you. Grease the wheels and maybe they would. You could tell which youtubers paid 1000s by how visibly pissed off they were about it.


Axios_Deminence t1_jecvylb wrote

Let me put it in simple terms on one concern you should have about it. Misinfo campaigns are more readily visible to those subsceptible to said misinfo campaigns.


darkkite t1_jebeim0 wrote

true but it is a cost and having money means less if the service blocks your country (not that's there's not work arounds) but it's still an improvement


NotBobLazar t1_jeedx5s wrote

How are you mad at Elon in this situation for your first couple notes? Kinda ridiculous take.


cyanclam t1_jeaumin wrote

If you are wondering how much protection we can expect from the NSA: One Vulcan Files document shows Russian engineers recommending Russia add to its own capabilities by using hacking tools stolen in 2016 from the US National Security Agency and posted online.


Ok-Bumblebee9289 t1_jebz3dn wrote

You'd hope that they would have at least moved to protect themselves from being exploited by their own tools.


Chip_Hazard t1_jedsvw5 wrote

They did as much as they could but there isn't much they can do once it's out. The hacking tools exploited vulnerabilities that were inherent to Windows systems. Once they knew it was out they got Microsoft to patch it up, but that requires users to update their PCs, so hackers were still able to get into outdated systems. The WannaCry attack in 2017 used the NSA exploits.

The questionable part, I guess, is that NSA knew about these exploits but instead of warning Microsoft immediately, they used the exploits themselves until it got out into the wrong hands.


Prometheus720 t1_jee9x53 wrote

They did.

That doesn't mean they protected you.

Imagine you were the first country to invent a handgun. You also have the idea of making body armor, but you haven't yet because there are no handguns shooting at you.

Then someone steals your handgun. You quickly make body armor. It isn't perfect but it works really well.

Then someone 3 streets over gets shot. Because they weren't aiming at you. You have handguns. And body armor.

They'd rather go after someone exploitable.


topchuck t1_jedmgc5 wrote

So they're using outdated tech that's thoroughly understood by the people it would be meant to attack?


Prometheus720 t1_jee9ze4 wrote

No, it is meant to attack you.

This is like terrorists stealing riot gear from police.


QuantumDES t1_jedxdk0 wrote

That sounds like protection to me?

The zero days those tools exploited are long patched.


freecodeio t1_jeaiphn wrote

Makes me wonder just how shitty misinformation is gonna be now that we have public LLMs


almightySapling t1_jeas7fq wrote

It was already a losing battle just due to the time cost of debunking things over the internet.

I'm hopeful we will adapt. I mean, it wasn't that long ago that I remember being told to never trust what you see on the internet. That never really stopped being good advice, soon it will be gospel.


ssshield t1_jebd1rt wrote

Gen X here. Our parents always drilled into our head in the seventies and eighties to never believe everything you see on television.

Those same parents now believe everything they see on television AND the Internet.

Power of propaganda and media control by propagandists.


metalkhaos t1_jebhrb5 wrote

Can confirm, even the 80's and 90's it was you can't believe everything you see on TV and eventually the internet. And yet these people just eat up all that slop without second thought.


shkeptikal t1_jec9e4b wrote

When I was a kiddo in the 90s, it was common knowledge that the two types of people who were always lying and never to be trusted were lawyers and politicians. Now we're here. Though tbf, the same kids who hid under their schooldesks from potential Russian nukes grew up and are now saying Putin isn't such a bad guy so....yeah.

Propaganda works.


ChrisTheHurricane t1_jebzklp wrote

My dad is a baby boomer and he recalls his dad telling him "Believe only half of what you see and nothing of what you hear."


CanuckInTheMills t1_jecywa0 wrote

Boomer here… I never stopped critical thinking. Just…so ….. you….know /s


ssshield t1_jefw1i9 wrote

Yeah I grew up with cool boomers that were and are sharp and aware of reality.

We have our own shitheads in every generation unfortunately.


BalancedPortfolio t1_jedsmq9 wrote

The best advice is to always use good sources, in university and college I was always taught that the quality of the source is what mattered most.

The internet is no different, I usually grade information based on what organisation or person said it and in relation to the political context.

Random people on Twitter isn’t going to cut it.


MetalJunkie101 t1_jeayvb7 wrote

What about OpenGL files?


I'll see myself out.


elglas t1_jedsf8g wrote

I'm holding out for wine's direct3d files Fixme:unsupportedCurruptionCallback


Stock_Rush2555 t1_jeav2rx wrote

I wonder if NATO/Europe could put up something similar to the great firewall of China, except around Russia, to contain it?

I'm no expert, but even using a VPN located outside Moscovy would require that VPN provider to connect to the client in Russia, which the firewall could block.

Inb4 "muh internet freedom"... Your internet freedom is already controlled by corporate interests, and has become a vector for warfare, massive amounts of fraud. The internet can't be the wild west when it can take out a country's power infrastructure, medical services or senior's pension plans. It's time for some defense against Russia, and while we're at it, china. They've both already got it, tho they will no doubt cry discrimination the minute we follow their lead.


kolodz t1_jebj3yp wrote

They could cut the line and separate the Russian network. (Physically or virtually)

But last time I checked expert were convinced that this would bring more problems than solving current ones.

Russia is connected to other countries that won't disconnect them (So we would still be exposed)

Russia would still be able to do attacks, but more regulars people would be able to use simple VPN or proxy to overcome censorship. (Iran cut internet voluntary during uprising)


krtshv t1_jed6bsz wrote

What if you physically cut the lines?


kolodz t1_jedhkkr wrote

Still indirect lines...

Belarus/China etc....


SiarX t1_jeflkx6 wrote

Then Russia physically cuts all sea Internet cables.


SiarX t1_jeflmxo wrote

Not to mention that Russia would cut all sea Internet cables.


Opi-Fex t1_jeblj89 wrote

It wouldn't work. It's not like they need to run the operation from inside Russia. They have actual people all over the world, including ordinary citizens, or employees at large tech firms inside the EU and US.

They can just use those people to acquire residential internet connections, or rent VMs. They can also run VPNs through other countries, like India. Are we going to block India as well? There's nothing you could really do to stop that outside of shutting the internet down completely.


boesmensch t1_jebq0cp wrote

Nah, imho it would be better to swamp unfriendly countries with our own disinformation campaigns. Just imagine what you could do nowadays with deep fakes and LLMs, lol.


dogegunate t1_jedgqee wrote

This is wild, people are actually upvoting the idea of blockading internet access to countries and following authoritarian China in making our own closed off internet. Yes, let's shut off access to the greatest wealth of knowledge and connectivity in human history to innocent civilians living in these countries because we don't like their government. Because that's what liberty and freedom, values we are supposed champion, are all about.


DeathHamster1 t1_jebj7wt wrote

>...Five months later, Markov reminded his workers of Victory Day, a 9 May holiday celebrating the Red Army’s defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. “This is a significant event in the history of our country,” he told staff. “I grew up on films about the war and had the good fortune to communicate with veterans and to listen to their stories. These people died for us, so we can live in Russia.”

That's a /r/SelfAwareWolves moment, if there ever was.


WhisperDigits t1_jec4pu1 wrote

Can’t we just lock the entire country of Russia out of the world wide web? Like, close the valve for these assholes and let the rest of the world do their thing? I have no idea how internet juices work.


outm t1_jectpng wrote

No. The problem is who would you define as “we” in “we just lock Russia”.

Internet is that: international network. Not a single country (or even a group of them) has complete control over it. So, even if the US (for example) tried to make their companies to comply a block to russian IPs and cut physically the cables to Russia, Russians could reach US targets and servers like almost nothing through other routes like Russia - China - US, or Russia - India - US or whatever, even using VPNs or TOR or other things

So no, in the Internet you can only (and somewhat not that perfectly) control the people that are “inside” a network you control (like China with the great firewall), but you can’t control others that are “outside” of your network


SlumSlav t1_jed7c09 wrote

I can't believe you need to explain it to people in 2023.


Gutternips t1_jedueh6 wrote

Just an FYI, the "inter" in Internet means "between", not "international".


outm t1_jedw4hn wrote

Yeah, I know. But with pedagogical means, I preferred to “change” the original meaning so it would be understood better to whoever didn’t know

Thanks for pointing it out nonetheless 👍


Quexana t1_jectuyu wrote

Yes, but they can just send agents to a country connected to the web, and they're back in business.


Drakonaj t1_jedddbl wrote

I read "Vulkan lives" and I was like "What does Warhammer has to do with Putin?"


ScopeLogic t1_jeemppu wrote

What do the salamanders have to do with fucktin?


Quention t1_jebtajl wrote

What about Chinas?


readlistenandlearn t1_jebp7c7 wrote

So same with all other countries...nothing new here


[deleted] t1_jebfdo7 wrote



BadYabu t1_jebugw4 wrote

Ironic (or I guess not really) a post full of disinformation on a thread we’re the main topic is about Russias cybersecurity offensive capabilities that include weaponized disinformation.

Came for the takes and I wasn’t disappointed.

Edit: guy posted the exact same comment in r/Europe. Color me surprised.