“While we have not seen the networks we removed today engage in these efforts, or directly target the US 2020 election, they are linked to actors associated with election interference in the US in the past, including those involved in ‘DC leaks’ in 2016,” Gleicher wrote.
“These fake personas posed as editors and researchers to solicit articles for these websites. This network posted primarily in Russian and English about news and current events, including protests and elections in Belarus, Russian and Ukrainian politics, geopolitical conspiracies, Russia-NATO relations, Russia’s relations with neighboring countries, and criticism of US foreign policy, socio-economic issues in the US, and US political candidates on both sides of the political spectrum.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook says it found fake accounts linked to Russian state actors. Earlier this month the company took down a handful of accounts tied to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that successfully tricked
Facebook said Thursday that it had removed accounts from three disinformation campaigns, each with at least loose ties to the Kremlin.
None of the three had a large following or were focused primarily on targeting Americans. But they shared similar tactics, and each came from a distinct Russia-linked agency, indicating the country’s leadership is doubling down on building disinformation networks in the months before the U.S. election.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have since suspended the accounts that tried to cultivate followings to point users back to their websites. In each case, the number of accounts and their followers are a fraction of the size of similar campaigns that went viral in the lead-up to the 2016 election, indicating they’re being caught earlier.
While each was still in their infancy and didn’t display a clear intent, one possibility is that they would eventually be used to disseminated hacked information, in the
Facebook said Thursday it removed more than 340 accounts and pages and groups tied to Russia, some of which posed as journalists and tried to drive people to other websites and social media platforms.
The social network said it pulled down three separate networks of Russian-linked accounts that targeted various countries worldwide but had a “very limited following.” Some of these accounts tried to pose as news outlets, dupe freelance journalists into writing articles and attempted to drive users to other websites. Facebook removed these accounts for violating its rules against misleading others about their identity and purpose on behalf of a foreign or government entity.
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“We’re seeing a number of accounts that have been locked or limited by mistake and not because they tweeted about any particular topic,” Twitter Support tweeted. “We’re working to undo this and get those accounts back to normal.”
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Twitter said it was working to fix the issues right away, with both resolved within four hours. As of 4:08 p.m. PT, Twitter had fixed one of the issues: “Your Tweets should be making it onto your timeline…on time.”
The accidental account-locking issue was then fixed by Twitter around 4:40 p.m., with the social media platform providing a new Help
The accounts are pushing games, wallpaper, and other apps designed to deploy adware scams toward iOS and Android users, says Avast.
Malicious mobile apps can pose a problem for any smartphone owner. Such apps typically masquerade as legitimate programs in an attempt to entrap unsuspecting downloaders with malware, adware, and other threats. A new series of malicious apps designed for both iOS and Android are being promoted by rogue TikTok accounts as a way to gain a wide audience.
SEE: Cybersecurity: Let’s get tactical (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
In a blog posted on Tuesday, security provider Avast explained how these malicious scam apps work.
The apps are being aimed at young people by impersonating games, wallpaper, and music downloaders. To scam unsuspecting users, the apps will in some cases charge $2 or $10, ostensibly for a service not worth that amount of money.
Facebook said Tuesday it derailed a network of fakes accounts out of China that had recently taken aim at the US presidential race.
The takedown came as part of the social networks fight against “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and marked the first time Facebook had seen such a campaign based in China targeting US politics, according to head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher.
Facebook did not connect the campaign to the Chinese government, saying its investigation found links to individuals in the Fujian province of China.
In the takedown, Facebook removed 155 accounts, 11 Pages, 9 Groups and 6 Instagram accounts for violating its policy against foreign interference in deceptive schemes.
The campaign out of China focused primarily on the Philippines and South East Asia more broadly, and just a bit on the US, according to Gleicher.
Posts particularly commented about naval activity in the South China Sea, including US Navy