U.S. disrupted Internet Access of IRA During 2018 midterms
The US Military cut off all internet access to an infamous Russian Troll Farm during the 2018 Midterm elections, which continued for several days after the voting period. The attack targeted the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Petersburg, a Russian company closely associated with the Kremlin.
The IRA has been known to influence operations online in the interest of Russian business and political interests. The New York Times describes them as “the best known of the Russian troll farms that create large amounts of propaganda, [and] has been accused by the United States government of meddling in the 2016 elections.” The company is not officially a part of the Russian government but is overseen by oligarchs loyal to President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
The US operation’s objective was to take the IRA offline until the results for the elections were viewed and certified by officials. The attack is the start of a cyber campaign against Russia in order to obstruct any Russian interference in US elections.
Pentagon officials and senators have expressed their satisfaction with the results of the operations, and have credited Cyber Command with the aversion of Russian interference. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) states that without Cybercomms work, there “would have been some very serious cyber-incursions.”
The operation was only the start of Cybercoms “Command Vision” issued in April. They plan to “achieve superiority in cyberspace” and confront their adversaries. According the Washington Post, in an interview with Joint Force Quarterly, the Cybercom campaign is “acting outside our borders, being outside our networks, to ensure that we understand what our adversaries are doing.”