U.S. disrupted Russian trolls on day of November election: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.

Reuters February 27, 2019 03:07:22 IST
U.S. disrupted Russian trolls on day of November election: report

US disrupted Russian trolls on day of November election report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military disrupted the internet access of a Russian troll farm accused of trying to influence American voters on Nov. 6, 2018, the day of the congressional elections, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The U.S. Cyber Command strike targeted the Internet Research Agency in the Russian port city of St. Petersburg, the Post reported, citing unidentified U.S. officials.

The group is a Kremlin-backed outfit whose employees had posed as Americans and spread disinformation online in an attempt to also influence the 2016 election, according to U.S. officials.

"They basically took the IRA (Internet Research Agency) offline," the Post quoted one person familiar with the matter as saying. "They shut ‘em down."

The Pentagon's cyber warfare unit, which works closely with the National Security Agency, said it did not comment on cyberspace operations but would continue to "defend our elections and democratic institutions from foreign malign influence."

Cyber Command's offensive operations are highly classified and rarely made public.

The Internet Research Agency was one of three entities and 13 Russian individuals indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office in February 2018 in an alleged criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper with in the U.S. presidential race in a bid to boost Trump and disadvantage his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors said the agency is controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who U.S. officials have said has extensive ties to Russia’s military and political establishment.

Prigozhin, also personally charged by Mueller, has been dubbed "Putin's cook" by Russian media because his catering business has organised banquets for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Since those indictments, the breadth of the troll farm's activities have come to light. A report by private experts released to the Senate Intelligence Committee said the Internet Research Agency has tried to manipulate U.S. politics for years and continues to do so today.

The report, by an Oxford University team working with analytical firm Graphika, said Russian trolls urged African-Americans to boycott the 2016 election or to follow wrong voting procedures, while also encouraging right-wing voters to be more confrontational.

Since Donald Trump was elected president, the report said, Russian trolls have put out messages urging Mexican-American and other Hispanic voters to mistrust U.S. institutions.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Mark Hosenball; editing by Bernadette Baum; and James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Oil settles up after hitting 15-month highs on demand prospects
Business

Oil settles up after hitting 15-month highs on demand prospects

By Laura Sanicola NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices settled higher on Tuesday, with Brent hitting above $71 and trading at its highest since March, on expectations for growing fuel demand during the summer driving season in the United States as OPEC+ agreed to boost output. Brent crude futures for August settled up 93 cents, or 1.3%, to $70.25 a barrel after hitting $71 earlier in the session - its highest intra-day price since March 8. U.S.

Wall St ends little changed; energy gains, health sags
Business

Wall St ends little changed; energy gains, health sags

By Lewis Krauskopf, Shashank Nayar and Medha Singh (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes ended little changed on Tuesday, with gains in energy and financial shares countering declines in healthcare, as investors weighed the latest U.S. economic data for signs of a rebound and rising inflation. The S&P 500 financial sector hit a record high, while expected growth in fuel demand boosted oil prices and helped lift the energy sector

Zoom forecasts upbeat revenue on remote work, e-learning boost
Business

Zoom forecasts upbeat revenue on remote work, e-learning boost

(Reuters) - Zoom Video Communications Inc on Tuesday forecast better-than-expected revenue for the current quarter, after beating quarterly estimates, as the video-conferencing platform expects steady growth from remote work and online learning. Zoom became a household name during the pandemic as businesses and schools switched to its video conferencing platform for virtual classes, office meetings and social catch-ups