Rolling Stone: Hackers Are Coming for the 2020 Election — And We’re Not Ready

Rolling Stone: Hackers Are Coming for the 2020 Election — And We’re Not Ready. “Four years ago, for an embarrassingly modest price, Russia pulled off one of the more audacious acts of election interference in modern history. The Internet Research Agency, the team of Kremlin-backed online propagandists, spent $15 million to $20 million and wreaked havoc on the psyche of the American voter, creating the impression that behind every Twitter avatar or Facebook profile was a Russian troll. Russian intelligence agents carried out the digital version of Watergate, infiltrating the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, stealing tens of thousands of emails, and weaponizing them in the days and weeks before the election.”

‘Chaos Is the Point’: Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020 (New York Times)

New York Times: ‘Chaos Is the Point’: Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020. “American defenses have vastly improved in the four years since Russian hackers and trolls mounted a broad campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. Facebook is looking for threats it barely knew existed in 2016, such as fake ads paid for in rubles and self-proclaimed Texas secessionists logging in from St. Petersburg. Voting officials are learning about bots, ransomware and other vectors of digital mischief…. Yet interviews with dozens of officials and experts make clear that many of the vulnerabilities exploited by Moscow in 2016 remain.”

Stars and Stripes: US CyberCom plans information warfare to counter Russian interference in the 2020 election

Stars and Stripes: US CyberCom plans information warfare to counter Russian interference in the 2020 election. “Military cyber officials are developing information warfare tactics that could be deployed against senior Russian officials and oligarchs if Moscow tries to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections through hacking election systems or sowing widespread discord, according to current and former U.S. officials.”

Science: Russian journals retract more than 800 papers after ‘bombshell’ investigation

Science: Russian journals retract more than 800 papers after ‘bombshell’ investigation. “Academic journals in Russia are retracting more than 800 papers following a probe into unethical publication practices by a commission appointed by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The moves come in the wake of several other queries suggesting the vast Russian scientific literature is riddled with plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and so-called gift authorship, in which academics become a co-author without having contributed any work. “

TorrentFreak: Crisis Looms as YouTube Faces Permanent Blocking by Russian ISPs

TorrentFreak: Crisis Looms as YouTube Faces Permanent Blocking by Russian ISPs. “Both YouTube and Yandex’s video platforms are edging dangerously close to being permanently blocked by ISPs in Russia. The Moscow City Court has upheld a complaint from publisher Eksmo and has ordered the services to remove pirated audiobook content. However, anti-piracy group AZAPI says it is preparing other cases too and if they are successful, ‘we can insist on the eternal blocking of Yandex.video and YouTube in Russia.'”

Lawfare: The Biggest Social Media Operation You’ve Never Heard of Is Run Out of Cyprus by Russians

Lawfare: The Biggest Social Media Operation You’ve Never Heard of Is Run Out of Cyprus by Russians. “What the heck is TheSoul Publishing? I’m still honestly not sure. Here’s what I do know: Measured in terms of views and subscribers, it had the third-largest reach of any group of entertainment channels on YouTube in November—outranked only by Disney and WarnerMedia. It is run by Russian nationals and based in and managed from Cyprus, with U.S. operations housed in a shared work space in New York. It funds itself with ad revenues from YouTube and Google worth tens of millions of dollars. And in 2018, it purchased a small suite of Facebook advertisements targeting U.S. citizens on political issues—and it made those purchases in rubles.”