Russia Understands that Fake News and Hacking Can Change Election Outcomes. Sometimes.

While President Trump continues to deny that Russia interfered with the U.S. Elections, even though many other very knowledgeable people say the opposite, other countries are not so casual about it.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency chief says that Russia gathered large amounts of data in cyber attacks and no one knows what they will do with it.

He is talking about the attack in 2015 against the Bundestag attributed to Russia’s APT28 hacking group.

He says that Russia is working hard to destabilize the German government and that there have been additional attacks since the 2015 attack.

Unlike Trump, Germany wants to create a legal mechanism that allows them to delete stolen data from servers in foreign countries and also to destroy those servers.  No waffling here.  Steal our data and we will destroy your servers.  Seems reasonable.

As if that wasn’t enough, the NSA says that Russia hacked the French election infrastructure.  Like Russia did in the U.S. elections, Russia leaked 9 gigabytes of email belonging to candidate Emmanuel Macron in an effort to affect the outcome.

Admiral Mike Rogers, head of the NSA, testified before Congress this week that Russia did it.  He even said that he warned France about it.

In the face of all this, President Trump invited the Russia’s top spy, who is at the center of the election interference investigation, and a Russian photographer who works for the government controlled propaganda agency TASS into a closed door meeting in the Oval Office.  After all, what COULD go wrong?

Suffice it to say, Russia is hardly alone.  The U.S. has been accused of interfering in foreign elections going back 50 or more years.

Now, it is just way simpler.  Circulate fake news stories.  Post fake items in social media and then get people to cause them to trend.  Hack into electronic mail and other systems.  It used to be that you had to be inside a country to do this much damage.  Now you can do even more damage from half way around the world.

And, it is not likely to decline any time soon.

Information for this post came from Reuters and Wired.

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