US Cyber Command Is Reportedly Sliding Into The DMs Of Russian Trolls

news

U.S. Cyber Command is apparently sliding into the DMs of Russian trolls as they carry out information warfare.


Julian Barnes of The New York Times reported Tuesday that Russian operatives were being specifically targeted and told by Cyber Command that their identities were known and that were being tracked.

It wasn't clear how exactly the messages were being delivered, but the proactive measure is a change of pace from how Cyber Command and the NSA usually operate — watching and keeping knowledge of what they know hidden from their targets.

The Times has more:

Senior defense officials said they were not directly threatening the operatives. Still, former officials said anyone singled out would know, based on the United States government’s actions against other Russian operatives, that they could be indicted or targeted with sanctions. Even the unstated threat of sanctions could help deter some Russians from participating in covert disinformation campaigns, said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former intelligence official now with the Center for a New American Security.

It's clear that at least some of Russia's hackers and trolls are well known to U.S. intelligence, given recent indictments from the Justice Department. Earlier this month, seven Russians were indicted on hacking charges, and accused of taking part in a disinformation campaign.

"State-sponsored hacking and disinformation campaigns pose serious threats to our security and to our open society, but the Department of Justice is defending against them," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at the time.

In July, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with the hacking of the Democrats during the 2016 election.

This latest campaign by Cyber Command is meant to deter Russia's continuing effort to meddle in U.S. elections, officials told the Times, reflecting a push by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser John Bolton to expand the Pentagon's role of countering Moscow in cyberspace.

Read more at The Times >

SEE ALSO: The Future Of Information Warfare Is Here — And The Russians Are Already Doing It

U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch

This article originally appeared on Military.com.

Inside Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan stands a wall painted with a mural of an airman kneeling before a battlefield cross. Beneath it, a black gravestone bookended with flowers and dangling dog tags displays the names of eight U.S. airmen and an American contractor killed in a horrific insider attack at Kabul International Airport in 2011.

It's one of a number of such memorials ranging from plaques, murals and concrete T-walls scattered across Afghanistan. For the last eight years, those tributes have been proof to the families of the fallen that their loved ones have not been forgotten. But with a final U.S. pullout from Afghanistan possibly imminent, those families fear the combat-zone memorials may be lost for good.

Read More Show Less
DOD photo

After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.

Read More Show Less
Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less