Director of security company Facebook Alex Stamos published a report which shows that within two years from fake accounts allegedly created in Russia, was purchased a large amount of political advertising, which could influence the formation of public opinion before and after the US presidential elections in 2016.
Stamos recallsthat there were many questions with regard to alleged Russian interference in the election process in the United States. In April, Facebook has published a technical report outlining the understanding of the leadership of the management of social network company about organized attempts to abuse this information platform.
After analysis it turned out that from June 2015 to may 2017 spending on dubious advertising in Facebook amounted to about 100 thousand U.S. dollars. This amount consists of payment of approximately 3000 publications 470 unreliable pages and accounts. In Facebook I believe that the account which was payment, and these accounts are linked to each other and, presumably, operated from Russia.
The report stresses that most of the publications in question did not contain direct references to the presidential election in the U.S. voting and the candidates. Rather, they were aimed at the actualization of social and political issues from LGBT rights and migration legislation to rules of arms trafficking. About a quarter of the publications were configured to readers from specific geographical regions.
At Facebook conducted a targeted search of paid publications that could be created in Russia, even those whose connection with organized purchasing political advertising is not obvious. For example, under close scrutiny were published, created accounts with us IP addresses, but with the settings on the Russian language. So we identified an array of 2200 publications cost about 50 thousand dollars.
“We have shared our findings with the U.S. authorities investigating these issues and will continue to work in this direction as necessary,” assured Alex Stamos.
The Washington Post , citing sources close to the investigation Commission of the Russian intervention in the American elections, says that at least 470 cases the trail leads to the notorious “Troll factory” in St. Petersburg, an organization that promotes the state interests of Russia via the Internet.
Senator mark Warner of Virginia, part of the intelligence Committee, said that following the release of Facebook he still had a lot of questions. In addition, he said, similar reports are expected in near future from Twitter.
At the same time, the newspaper notes, the cost of political advertising in Facebook, in question, is infinitely small in comparison with total advertising spending during election campaign. So, Borrell Associates estimates the market size of digital advertising during the election campaign of 2016 to $ 1.4 billion.
Recall trump’s suspected of collusion with the Kremlin during the election campaign in the United States in 2016. American intelligence agencies believe that Russian hackers have carried out attacks on the servers of the national Committee of the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, stealing the incriminating materials, which were then published online. Clinton was a rival trump in the presidential elections. According to investigators, the incident of the leak scandal has affected her position and helped the Tramp to win.
According to intelligence, the victory trump was beneficial to the Kremlin because the Russian government realized that it is easier to interact than with Clinton. Because of this, trump was suspected of possible collusion with Moscow.
The American leader denies alleged ties with the Kremlin, he also said he did not believe in the involvement of Russia to hacker attacks. Trump has repeatedly called the ongoing investigation the largest witch-hunt.
In the summer of 2016, WikiLeaks began a series of publications data correspondence of the apparatus of the Democratic party of the United States. US intelligence agencies said about the involvement of the government of the Russian Federation to hacker attacks committed in 2016 in respect of political organizations in the United States. CIA using media have accused Russia of hacking the servers of the party Democratic party to help Donald Trump, who won the presidential elections on 8 November. Russian authorities deny such accusations.
In the summer of 2017 Reuters sources in the Congress saidthat Russian intelligence tried to spy on the election headquarters of the leader of movement “Forward” of Emmanuel Macron, who later became President of France. The surveillance was carried out through fake accounts on the social network Facebook. It was alleged that the operation was engaged in the same branch of the GRU, dubbed APT28 or Fancy Bears in the cybersecurity industry, which was accused in the attack on the national Committee of the US Democratic party during the presidential election in the United States in 2016 and many other “political purposes”. In the Main Directorate of the General staff of the Russian Agency gave no comments.
Facebook confirmed to Reuters that it had found spyware accounts in France and deactivated them.
And at the end of August the German intelligence service warned of possible Russian intervention in elections to the Bundestag. The head of the Federal office for the protection of the Constitution Hans-Georg Maassen said that we are talking about a disinformation campaign.