began in 2013, When the Snowden revelations, was that the specialists are not surprised by the fact that Western intelligence services had the Internet been infiltrated. Anecdotal reports, studies and documents, there were long before that. But the full extent of the Details in black and white – the experts are also impressed. A similar effect now try the other two studies, the Russian Interference in the US election, have been submitted to the US Senate.
One of the reports is about 100 pages long and comes from the company New Knowledge and Canfield Research as well as researchers from the Columbia University. The other is about half extensive and was written by researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute and the Social Media analysis company Graphika. The described therein, the scope of the operations of the Russian Troll factory Internet Research Agency (IRA), including some previously not publicly known Details impress, such as the technical capabilities of the NSA and its allies did.
cover the same, the two approaches are not, especially not in terms of content. But there are structural Parallels. For the classification of Russian activity, to the understanding of this still young phenomenon of the modern information war, is of the essence, therefore, a comparison of:
width : Russian actors almost all in the West, relevant social networks and platforms used for their purposes, as the Reports show: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Medium, PayPal, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, Meetup, but also VKontakte and LiveJournal. Their activities were by no means restricted to the USA, but have been held for at least the past two years around elections all over the world.
The NSA and the British secret intelligence service, GCHQ, however, all the Hardware so pretty components of the Internet in the crosshairs – at the global level: glass fiber cables, nodes, servers, route around Switches, devices and accessories.
preparation : The IRA were driven activities, and are partly invested in the long term: According to the New Knowledge, the Russians, on Instagram also have merchandise to a larger audience before they ended their messages in verse. She even offered Sex toys to take on personal information of the buyer, or to identify people with specific interests, which could later be at certain advertising subjects interested.
This principle – first collect, then take advantage of – has followed the NSA in a variety of programs: meta-data for Tracking down as-yet unidentified suspect, security vulnerabilities for the development of Exploits, photos, for subsequent face detection, circulating Malware for modification and re-use.
duration: : First Twitter activities of the IRA in the United States are dated by the Oxford researchers in the year 2012, in the other report 2013. In 2018 the alleged IRA were locked-account Twitter and Facebook. The disinformation campaign is thus established permanently and was by no means limited to the presidential election of 2016.
This corresponds to the approach of the Western intelligence services, for as long as possible access networks to set up and analyze data streams over the years.
tactics : The Russian operations pursue two approaches. On the one hand, maximum spread: 10 million Tweets, 1100 YouTube Videos, 116.000 Instagram Posts and 61,500 Facebook posts from the IRA-trolls. On the other hand, selective Targeting: tailor-made to Display the smallest possible target groups were approached on Facebook.
The Snowden revelations will, in turn, is often equated with the mass surveillance of the Internet because the NSA and GCHQ TRANS-Atlantic anzapften tables glass fiber cable and cable between data centers, for example from Google and the analysis only once, indiscriminately, everything that is copied, what came right. With the end of 2013 from the MIRROR published the so-called ANT catalogue, however, it became clear that the NSA has also developed tools for the extremely target-oriented use even against single individuals.
goals : The operations of both sides are state-wanted and supported. At this point the similarities end, however, to a large extent. Russia in the framework of a disinformation campaign to weaken other governments and its own people, the supposed Superiority of their own political system demonstrate. In the case of the NSA there is no (known) equivalent.
Combined : The Western secret services have made the physical layer of the Internet “weaponized”, as it is called in English – to the weapon. The Russians have done the Same with the level of content.
Both sides are expected to apply to the respective levels as the measure of all things. And both of them are not going to stop just because you were caught. Instead, they will develop their tools further and further.