Tuesday October 23, 2018
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Blame Game Continues: Donald Trump denies Russia’s possible hacking into the US political system

U.S government actively encourages organizations to have good anti-virus protections due to Russia's possible hacking into the system

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told an interviewer on a Russian TV network that he doubts Russia was involved. Wikimedia
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  • FBI told Arizona election officials that Russians had hacked into their system
  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told an interviewer on a Russian TV network that he doubts Russia was involved
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin denies any connection to the cyberattacks

The controversy still rages over Russia’s possible hacking into computer systems used by American political entities. Defence Secretary Ash Carter has warned Russia not to try to interfere with the U.S general election in November. Yet Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he doubts that Russia is involved.

The election — the heart of U.S democracy — is at the center of the debate. But before we tell you how … a little background.

The system is decentralized. Votes are collected where people live, and then each state sets up its own security, in its own electoral system, to tabulate its votes. This method is intended to reduce fraud.

So imagine the shock when the FBI told Arizona election officials that Russians had hacked into their system. Experts also blame Russia for hacking into Democratic party emails.

A former U.S ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan, William Courtney, writes that Russia will be seen as a “rogue elephant” if it continues its disruptions.

“Great powers have to work with each other to accomplish objectives. So the United States and China are working together on the global warming issue. A great power can’t exist in isolation,” said Courtney.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told an interviewer on a Russian TV network that he doubts Russia was involved, and Russian President Vladimir Putin denies any connection to the cyberattacks.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin believes any attacks would have to have been approved by key leaders.

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“You have to believe that at the highest levels, that these strategies have been agreed to,” said Cardin.

The worry now for Republican Senator Bob Corker is of any Russian tampering in the general election, which will choose the next U.S president.

“If they can demonstrate that … maybe they affected it, obviously that creates distrust in the outcome, [and] instability, so that’s a big win for them,” said Corker.

Remember the separate state electoral systems? Courtney suggests the Department of Homeland Security should protect election systems as part of the nation’s “critical infrastructures.”

“That would mean that the U.S government will be actively involved to encourage those organizations that have good cyber hygiene, to have good anti-virus protections and other things,” said Courtney.

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But that may be too late to do that for the presidential election, now less than 60 days away. (VOA)

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Microblogging Site Twitter Releases Tweets Linked to Russia, Iran

"We may also release incremental additions to existing datasets if we believe the additional information could materially impact research findings," Twitter said

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Twitter
Twitter releases data linked to Russian, Iranian info campaigns. Pixabay

With the goal of improving understanding of how foreign influence campings operate on Twitter, the microblogging site has now released massive datasets of accounts linked to potential influence campaigns originating in Russia and Iran.

These large datasets released this week comprise 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran.

Totalling over 360 gigabytes – including more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts ?the data store provides a picture of how state-sponsored agencies have used the Twitter platform, technology news website Ars Technica reported on Friday.

IRA allegedly ran information campaigns on several social media platforms to undermine the political process in the 2016 US presidential election.

TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

With Twitter coming under scrutiny for its failure to stop the spread of misinformation during the election, the microblogging site, earlier this year, committed to the US Congress and the public to provide regular updates and information regarding its investigation into foreign interference in political conversations on Twitter.

Since that time, Twitter has shared examples of these types of content posted on Twitter by IRA and provided the public with a direct notice if they interacted with these accounts.

In August this year, Twitter also disclosed details of another attempted influence campaign it identified as potentially located within Iran.

The datasets released this week are aimed at enabling independent academic research and investigation into the nature of foreign influence campaigns, Twitter said.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“We are committed to understanding how bad-faith actors use our services. We will continue to proactively combat nefarious attempts to undermine the integrity of Twitter, while partnering with civil society, government, our industry peers, and researchers to improve our collective understanding of coordinated attempts to interfere in the public conversation,” Twitter said.

A preliminary look at the data by Ars Technica revealed that a common tactic used by the IRA was to create “local news” accounts for major US cities, seeding them with posts linking to local news outlets.

The accounts, such as “Atlanta Online,” “Baltimore Online,” “Baton Rouge Voice,” “Chicago Daily News,” and “Dallas Top News” would also include tweet-length news headlines with no link, the report said.

Also Read- Habitability Of Surrounding Planets Affected By Super Flares Of Red Dwarfs: NASA

Twitter said if it identifies additional attempted information operations on Twitter in the future, it will release similar datasets in a timely fashion after completing its investigations.

“We may also release incremental additions to existing datasets if we believe the additional information could materially impact research findings,” Twitter said. (IANS)