The US Сonducts the First Cyber Operation Against Russia's Influence on the Elections
OREANDA-NEWS The US cyber command (subordinate to the defense Ministry) intimidates some "Russian operatives" in an attempt to dissuade them from spreading misinformation or interfering in the November midterm elections to Congress, writes the New York Times. About the operation, the newspaper learned from government officials that know about it.
Employees of the cyber command tell the Russians that the US authorities have identified them and monitor their activities. The newspaper's interlocutors in the military circles do not say how many Russian "operatives" had such a conversation, they do not disclose the methods of communication. But other officials say that some of these "operatives" were involved, including during the presidential elections of 2016.
According to the NYT, this is the first foreign cyber operation that the US is conducting in order to protect the electoral process. "The new American campaign, according to officials, is being conducted against hacker groups sponsored by oligarchs and Russian intelligence officers, who are part of Moscow's campaign to spread misinformation," the article says.
Threats against Russian "operatives" do not sound, say the newspaper sources. Washington's actions are limited to not give Moscow a reason to retaliate. But the actions of the cyber command are only part of a larger effort to combat "Russian interference in democratic processes," the article says. The staff of the command sent to European countries to help U.S. allies to "fight against the Russian intervention in the government network", the newspaper said. Later the article mentions Ukraine, Macedonia and Montenegro. A senior Montenegrin official told the newspaper that Washington is helping to " remove Russian cyber operatives from unclassified government systems."
Russia is unlikely to break into the device for counting votes and try to fake the results of the vote in the upcoming elections, according to us intelligence, but Moscow continues to spread misinformation and thereby try to influence public opinion.
The US authorities plan to assess the success of their actions in November, after the elections. On November 6, US residents will have to choose a new composition of the house of representatives, a third of senators, governors of 36 States, among other things.
The US cyber command was formed in 2009 to protect military networks and is located in the same building as the national security Agency (NSA). The two structures have a common leadership.
According to the us authorities, Russian interference in the 2016 elections was carried out by influencing public opinion — to this end, Moscow disseminated information and misinformation in social networks. On October 19, the US Department of justice filed the first charges related to the upcoming elections. They were put forward against Elena Husseinova — in Washington believe that she is an accountant responsible for the budget of the operation.