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Ministry of Digital Transformation rejected accusations of cyber attack against journalist

04.11.2021, 16:28

The Ministry of Digital Transformation said that neither the ministry, nor its head, Mykhailo Fedorov,  had been behind the "black PR campaign" against the founder of "Legal Informatics" Serhiy Antonenko and the attack of bots, which had spread fake news about him. The ministry officials told it speaking to MediaSapiens.

“The Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister Mykhailo Fedorov have nothing to do with the facts exposed in the article ( - MS). We draw your attention to the fact that Serhiy Antonenko's accusations were not supported by any evidence, ”the department replied.

The Ministry of Statistics clarified that it contacted the journalist exclusively through "processing inquiries and appeals received by the official mail of the ministry on his behalf."

On November 2, published an article about the founder of "Legal Informatics" Serhiy Antonenko, who reported being targeted with an attack by bots that spread a fake news about him as "animal tormentor". The journalist rejected the accusations and called them a "black PR campaign", which he said was ordered by the Ministry of Digital Information and its head Mikhail Fedorov. Antonenko linked the attack to his journalistic activities.

As IMI reported, Serhiy Antonenko said, on October 5 and 6, a number of websites published the news with his photo on, saying that he was an animal tormentor and he killed cats en masse in the Shevchenkivskyi district in Kyiv. At the same time, the sites referred to an alleged resident of the house of journalist Kira Boyko, who wrote a post about Antonenko on Facebook. However, the journalist noted, such a resident as Kira Boyko does not exist in his apartment block, "she is just a bot." IMI asked Kira Boyko where she got such an information about the journalist, but never received an answer.

News about Antonenko was published, in particular, on the sites: Izvestia v UkraiyneArgumenty and Holos , Ukrainski Novyny, Kommentarii Ukraina KP in Ukraine Vlasti. net , , Hyser, Apostrophe , Kyiv.Media .

After the news came out, the journalist was threatened with physical violence and murder on social networks.

Serhiy Antonenko links the attack to his journalistic activities, in particular, corruption investigations into the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the state-owned company Diya, etc. Serhiy Antonenko also said that on September 13 he took part in a protest action of IT specialists under the Cabinet of Ministers, supported by IT-Sich and the Democratic Ax. According to him, he spoke about his investigations at the rally.

IMI asked the Ministry of Digital Transformation’s press service to comment on the incident. 

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