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28 June 2024

Webinar | Who is Behind Portal Kombat? Exposing the Pravda Disinformation Machine with OSINT

In a world where the geopolitical landscape remains highly volatile, online users are increasingly at risk of consuming manipulated content spread by hostile actors. One notable example is “Portal Kombat,” a large-scale campaign designed to disseminate pro-Russian propaganda across Europe and beyond.

Detected recently by the VIGINUM agency, this operation focuses on developing and maintaining legitimate-looking news outlets in multiple European languages using variations of the name “Pravda.” While at first glance these sites appear credible, they primarily aim to spread false narratives, such as portraying the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a positive light and discrediting Ukraine and its leaders, thereby influencing public opinion in other countries.

But this is just one of many examples of the geopolitical challenges that analysts tackling foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI) face today. What is especially concerning is that this threat becomes particularly severe during major geopolitical events such as elections, natural disasters, conflicts, or war crimes, where disinformation can significantly impact public perception, political discourse, and decision-making, and where access to legitimate information becomes hampered.

Given the high stakes involved, investigative teams urgently need effective tools and strategies to combat these operations and ensure access to accurate information during critical times.

In this webinar, you will learn about:

  • 04:16 - How OSINT and Geopolitics intersect
  • 10:15 - Portal Kombat and the Pravda propaganda news outlet
  • 14:23 - What is Maltego and how to use it
  • 18:45 - Investigating Disinformation Networks with Maltego Graph (Demo)
  • 37:41 - Person of Interest Investigations with Maltego Search (Demo)
  • 51:30 - Optimizing Content Analysis with Maltego (Demo)

About the Speaker

Nitish Chandan is an experienced trust and safety professional with expertise in product risk assessment, crisis response, and investigations. He is currently a Subject Matter Expert at Maltego, where he works with platforms to support their trust and safety investigation needs by developing use cases and investigation pathways. He also regularly conducts training for trust and safety teams to build capacity in risk assessments and fraud investigations. In his last role at Twitter, he was a Senior Product Trust Partner, focused on Twitter’s revenue products and product compliance in the JAPAC region.