Operation Carthage: How a Tunisian company conducted influence operations in African presidential elections (Atlantic Council)

Atlantic Council: Operation Carthage: How a Tunisian company conducted influence operations in African presidential elections. “A Tunisia-based company operated a sophisticated digital campaign involving multiple social media platforms and websites in an attempt to influence the country’s 2019 presidential election, as well as other recent elections in Africa. In an exclusive investigation that began in September 2019, the DFRLab uncovered dozens of online assets with connections to Tunisian digital communications firm UReputation.”

New York Times: A Conspiracy Made in America May Have Been Spread by Russia

New York Times: A Conspiracy Made in America May Have Been Spread by Russia. “The Americans who pushed a conspiracy theory the night of the Iowa caucuses have migrated to coronavirus conspiracies on Twitter, with help from a very Russia-friendly account.”

CNN: Russian election meddling is back — via Ghana and Nigeria — and in your feeds

CNN: Russian election meddling is back — via Ghana and Nigeria — and in your feeds. “The Russian trolls are back — and once again trying to poison the political atmosphere in the United States ahead of this year’s elections. But this time they are better disguised and more targeted, harder to identify and track. And they have found an unlikely home, far from Russia itself.”

CNN: Twitter botches fact-check of manipulated Biden video retweeted by Trump

CNN: Twitter botches fact-check of manipulated Biden video retweeted by Trump. “Twitter (TWTR) said it would take action against a misleading video of former Vice President Joe Biden that was retweeted by President Donald Trump, a major action that courted blowback from the White House. But then the social media company botched it.”

Just Security: A Model for Countering Foreign Disinformation and Interference in Elections

Just Security: A Model for Countering Foreign Disinformation and Interference in Elections. “The lessons from 9/11 are instructive and should be internalized in considering what an effective whole-of-government response might look like in the context of countering foreign disinformation and interference in elections.”

Wired: Russia Is Learning How to Bypass Facebook’s Disinfo Defenses

Wired: Russia Is Learning How to Bypass Facebook’s Disinfo Defenses. “Since Russia’s stunning influence operations during the 2016 United States presidential race, state and federal officials, researchers, and tech companies have been on high alert for a repeat performance. With the 2020 election now just seven months away, though, newly surfaced social media posts indicate that Russia’s Internet Research Agency is adapting its methods to circumvent those defenses.”

ProPublica: Some Election-Related Websites Still Run on Vulnerable Software Older Than Many High Schoolers

ProPublica: Some Election-Related Websites Still Run on Vulnerable Software Older Than Many High Schoolers. “A ProPublica investigation found that at least 50 election-related websites in counties and towns voting on Super Tuesday — accounting for nearly 2 million voters — were particularly vulnerable to cyberattack. The sites, where people can find out how to register to vote, where to cast ballots and who won the election, had security issues such as outdated software, poor encryption and systems encumbered with unneeded computer programs. None of the localities contacted by ProPublica said that their sites had been disrupted by cyberattacks.”

CNET: US officials in contact with TikTok over political disinformation

CNET: US officials in contact with TikTok over political disinformation. “To take on the next generation of disinformation, the US government has started reaching out to TikTok, senior government officials said on Tuesday. The Chinese-owned platform has grown increasingly popular in the US among teens, and has frequently been used for sharing political memes.”

The Root: A Clapback to Russian Trolls

The Root: A Clapback to Russian Trolls. “Just last week, new reports of interference emerged—this time showing Russia’s efforts to support both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the 2020 elections. The details of this most recent round of interference have not yet been released. Nevertheless, it is important to begin to consider how the black community and other communities of color may be targeted in the Kremlin’s new slew of disinformation campaigns.”

The Verge: Google will provide political campaigns free access to Titan security keys for better 2FA

The Verge: Google will provide political campaigns free access to Titan security keys for better 2FA. “In an effort to help political campaigns tighten security, Google is partnering with nonprofit organization Defending Digital Campaigns to give qualifying political groups free access to Titan security keys. The physical keys, used as part of Google’s Advanced Protection security program, provide another level of two-factor authentication to protect Google accounts.”

New York Times: He Combs the Web for Russian Bots. That Makes Him a Target.

New York Times: He Combs the Web for Russian Bots. That Makes Him a Target.. “For the last five years, Mr. [Ben] Nimmo, a founder of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, has been a leader of a small but growing community of online sleuths. These researchers serve as an informal internet police force that combats malicious attempts to use false information to sway public opinion, sow political discord and foment distrust in traditional institutions like the news media and the government.”

Mashable: 4chan trolls reportedly behind part of the Iowa caucus chaos

Mashable: 4chan trolls reportedly behind part of the Iowa caucus chaos. “As the public still waits for the full results from Monday’s Iowa caucus, it at least now knows more about what contributed to the fallout. We already knew a few of the major factors: a historically chaotic process combined with a new yet broken app. Now, we know of another contributor to the mayhem: Trump-supporting 4chan trolls.”

Cyborgs, trolls and bots: A guide to online misinformation (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Cyborgs, trolls and bots: A guide to online misinformation. “Cyborgs, trolls and bots can fill the internet with lies and half-truths. Understanding them is key to learning how misinformation spreads online. As the 2016 election showed, social media is increasingly used to amplify false claims and divide Americans over hot-button issues including race and immigration. Researchers who study misinformation predict it will get worse leading up to this year’s presidential vote. Here’s a guide to understanding the problem.”

Motherboard: Shadow’s Cancelled Nevada Caucus App Had Errors, Too

Motherboard: Shadow’s Cancelled Nevada Caucus App Had Errors, Too. “As the app used to report caucus results in Iowa failed, volunteers for the Nevada State Democratic Party encountered errors while testing their own version of the app made by the same company, Motherboard has learned. Once a test version of the app was distributed, volunteers were quickly met with an error when trying to submit caucus results, according to a source and a review of the app by Motherboard. Volunteers encountered the error when they received the app earlier this month and up until this week, according to the source. The Nevada caucus is scheduled for February 22.” The app will not be used, but this is concerning.