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US Officials Say No Major Russian Operations Interfered With US Elections

November 24th, 2020 19:24

US media is report­ing that US offi­cials say Rus­sia failed to mount any major oper­a­tions to inter­fere with the US elec­tions. Accord­ing to A Wash­ing­ton Post report

Novem­ber 17, 2020 Rus­sia failed to mount any major hack­ing or dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions to inter­fere in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, and the Krem­lin’s hack­ers did not even attempt to tar­get elec­tions sys­tems in the way they did in 2016, accord­ing to U.S. offi­cials. Offi­cials and ana­lysts said it’s too ear­ly to know why, but they point to a vari­ety of pos­si­ble rea­sons. Those include cyber and oth­er oper­a­tions that helped keep the Rus­sians at bay, hard­er tar­gets at the state and local lev­el, and a polit­i­cal cli­mate in which Amer­i­cans them­selves were the largest pur­vey­ors of dis­in­for­ma­tion, dwarf­ing Moscow’s efforts to influ­ence the cam­paign through social media and its pro­pa­gan­da chan­nels. This year, U.S. Cyber Com­mand pur­sued a new approach to coun­ter­ing Russ­ian hack­ers who might want to dis­rupt the elec­tion. In a series of oper­a­tions, the mil­i­tary attacked their sys­tems and fell back at ran­dom inter­vals to keep them off bal­ance. Cyber­com also attempt­ed to sab­o­tage Russ­ian hack­ing tools. The Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and FBI also exposed a potent class of mal­ware built by Russ­ian mil­i­tary spies who might have used it against the elec­tion. Its dis­clo­sure meant sys­tem oper­a­tors every­where could defend against it. Gen. Paul Naka­sone, who leads the NSA and the Pen­tagon’s Cyber Com­mand, said in an Elec­tion Day inter­view that he was “very con­fi­dent” that actions the NSA and Cyber­com have tak­en over the pre­vi­ous sev­er­al weeks and months against for­eign adver­saries had ensured “they’re not going to inter­fere in our elec­tions.” He did not speak about any par­tic­u­lar operation.

Read the rest here.

Ear­li­er this month, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed on a For­eign Affairs arti­cle warn­ing that the US may be most vul­ner­a­ble to for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions after the elections.