The US military reportedly took the offensive in the mid-term elections of 2018, stunning the Internet in a Russian "troll factory" trying to spread misinformation online to interfere in US elections.
Ellen Nakashima, of the Washington Post, reported Tuesday that the US Cyber Command – a division of the Defense Department that oversees cyber-operations – has launched a cyberattack against the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a famous Russian troll farm. linked to the Kremlin.
The operation, that President Donald Trump would have personally approved, interrupted the IRA's attempts to interfere in the mid-term elections of 2018 by disrupting its access to the Internet and paralyzing its online activities.
US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Washington Post that the operation disrupted the activities of Russian trolls on election day in 2018, November 6, and soon after, when the votes were still tabulated .
"They basically took the IRA offline," a source told the Post Office. "They closed them."
US prosecutors claimed that from 2014, the IRA had engaged in a broad campaign aimed at sowing discord and "interfering" in "political and electoral processes US, including the 2016 presidential election.
Special advocate Robert Mueller indicted 13 people and three IRA-related companies, including 12 employees. Prosecutors allege that these employees have posed for Americans and have put online propaganda in order to foment divisions in the United States on social and racial issues and ultimately to help elect Trump.
Mueller also indicted Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman known as "Putin's leader", who allegedly took out the troll operation through his company Concord Consulting, also charged by Mueller.
US officials had warned that Russia was also trying to interfere in the mid-term elections of 2018, and that the cyber-attack perpetrated against the IRA was clearly part of the US government's efforts to protect the country's security interests. integrity of these elections.
According to the post:
The operation marked the first bodybuilding movement of the US Cyber Command, thanks to information provided by the National Security Agency, under the new authority of powers conferred on President Trump and Congress last year. to strengthen its offensive capabilities.
The offensive against the Russian troll factory, according to the information provided by the post office, seems to have been limited in time and extent. It seems unlikely that the Internet Research Agency will be permanently closed, and that will certainly not end Russia's interference.
But many would argue that the United States was caught unprepared in the 2016 elections for foreign interference, forced to conduct serious checks and clean up as much as possible after the fact.
This report is an encouraging sign that the US military and the Trump administration are taking the threat seriously – and are ready to show Russia and its opponents that they are ready to take proportionate measures.
A US official told La Poste: "This is not an escalation. In fact, we are finally in the game. "