Politics Russian hackers used fake accounts disguised as local news: report

07:00  13 july  2018
07:00  13 july  2018 Source:   thehill.com

Twitter suspends 2 accounts linked to Russian intelligence after hacking indictment

  Twitter suspends 2 accounts linked to Russian intelligence after hacking indictment The move comes a day after the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of a "sustained effort" to penetrate the computers and email accounts of Democrats and the staged releases of documents to impact the election. The indictment said the hackers targeted Hillary Clinton's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to "release that information on the internet under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity.

In April, Facebook published a public report on information operations using fake accounts . On Twitter, meanwhile, hundreds of accounts were busy posting anti-Clinton messages and promoting the leaked material obtained by Russian hackers .

The Russia -linked ads used to influence the 2016 election included those from a fake gun-rights group, a bogus gay rights group and even a phony dog lovers group. SAN FRANCISCO — The Russians who posed as Americans on Facebook last year tried on quite an array of disguises .

  Russian hackers used fake accounts disguised as local news: report © Provided by The Hill Russian operatives working out of the St. Petersberg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) used fake accounts disguised as local U.S. media outlets to exploit Americans' trust in local news.

An NPR report found that accounts linked to the IRA operated at least 48 social media accounts disguised as U.S.-based local media organizations, including @ElPasoTopNews, @MilwaukeeVoice, @CamdenCityNews and @Seattle_Post.

None of the accounts reviewed by NPR, some of which had tens of thousands of followers, had been used so far to spread disinformation, according to the report. The link to the IRA suggests that the accounts were to be used in some future operation.

Ray Lewis loses 350K followers in Twitter purge of fake accounts

  Ray Lewis loses 350K followers in Twitter purge of fake accounts The Hall of Fame LB lost almost half his followers in a Twitter purge after a report on the big business of fake, paid-for followers.Twitter's purge followed a New York Times report on the booming business of the fake accounts, through a company called Devumi and frequently paid for by sports and entertainment celebrities presumably to give the impression that their influence is larger than it might be.

Facebook officials said the fake accounts were created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency, which is known for using “troll” accounts to post on social To date, while news reports have uncovered many meetings and contacts between Trump associates and Russians

Tumblr has revealed that it was used by Russian hackers to disseminate " fake news " in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. The blogging site says it only became aware of the situation late last year and reported it to the US Justice Department

"The Russians are playing a long game. They've developed a presence on social media. They've created these fictitious persons and fictitious organizations that have built up over a period of time a certain trustworthiness among people that follow them," House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told the news outlet.

The accounts, one of which was opened as early as May of 2014, were shut down by Twitter after years of posting real news stories.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told NPR that the accounts represented Russia's ongoing effort to interfere in future U.S. political events and elections.

"This effort is not over," she said. "It continues to this very day, where the Russians are trying to sow the seeds of discontent in our society, take advantage of the polarization that exists."

The Trump administration moved to punish the Kremlin's domestic security bureau last month for its involvement in cyberattacks, sanctioning five Russian entities and three Russian nationals accused of aiding the Federal Security Service.

U.S. intel chief warns of devastating cyber threat to U.S. infrastructure .
The U.S. intelligence chief warned on Friday that the threat was growing for a devastating cyber assault on critical U.S. infrastructure, saying the "warning lights are blinking red again" nearly two decades after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are launching daily cyber strikes on the computer networks of federal, state and local government agencies, U.S. corporations, and academic institutions, said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.Of the four, "Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question," he said.

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