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Cyber ​​Command Operation Took Down Russian Troll Farm for Midterm Elections



WASHINGTON – The American military took a Russian troll cargo last night Election Day in a cyberattack that continued for several days after the vote, part of what United States officials have said is a persistent campaign to block and interference in American democracy.

The operation was intended to prevent the Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, Russia, from spreading propaganda or disinformation aimed at undermining confidence in the mid-term vote of the election, American officials said.

The operation was aimed at taking the Internet Research Agency off line for several days, from Election Day until the results were certified by local officials.

The Internet Research Agency, the best known of the Russian troll farms that create large amounts of propaganda, has been used by the United States government of communication in the 2016 elections. It is not part of the Russian government, but is controlled by oligarchs loyal to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Joseph R. Holstead, deputy director of Cyber ​​Command public affairs, said the military did not "discuss classified cyberspace planning and operations."

"US Cyber ​​Command will continue to work as part of the whole-of-government effort to defend our elections and democratic institutions from foreign malignation, ”Mr. Holstead said

After the election, under another White House executive order, the director of national intelligence conducted an analysis of foreign interference during the midterm election.

That report, which has not been made public, found that the Russians attempted to interfere in the vote, not by trying to hack voting machines but by spreading disinformation. The report found that Russia used social media, fake personas and Moscow-controlled media to inflame opposite ideological sites with an aim of further polarizing the United States.

On Capitol Hill, intelligence committee officials declined to discuss the Election Day cyber operation. 19659002] At the hearing of the rise of authoritarianism in Russia, China and elsewhere, representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said Russian efforts to interfere in elections were continuing.

a prioritized part of the Russian agenda to not just interfere in our democracy but interfere in democracies in Europe, "Mr. Schiff said. “They are pushing their authoritarian model to undermine institutions that reinforce democracy.”


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