Active Measures, disinformation, foreign meddling in elections, political spychology, Soviet post-Soviet
Then, in May and June 2015, the first publicly known large-scale disinformation operation, dubbed “Saudi Cables,” tested an innovative tactic: hacking a target, exfiltrating compromising material (kompromat), setting up a dedicated leak website under false flag, and then passing files to Wikileaks for laundering and wide distribution.9 Between June 2015 and November 2016, at least six front organizations sprung up as outlets for compromised files by GRU: Yemen Cyber Army, Cyber Berkut, Guccifer 2.0, DC Leaks, Fancy Bears Hack Team, and @ANPoland.
Finally, in past year, the timeline of US-election operations began to align. In early March, GRU began to train its well-established, semi-automated targeting tools from worldwide military and diplomatic targets to US political targets. Between 10 March and 7 April, GRU targeted at least 109 Clinton campaign staffers with 214 individual phishing emails (with 8 more attempts on 12 and 13 May). 36 times Clinton staffers clicked a malicious link (the success rate of actually breaching the account after a victim clicked this link is 1-in-7). Russian intelligence targeted Jake Sullivan in at least 14 different attempts beginning on 19 March, each time with a different malicious link against two of his email addresses. GRU targeted Hillary Clinton’s personal email account at least two times in March, but the available data show that she did not fall for the password reset trick. The military intelligence agency also targeted DNC staffers with 16 emails between 15 March and 11 April, and 3 DNC staffers were tricked into clicking the treacherous “reset password” button on 6 April 2016.
https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-trid-033017.pdf – 3/30/2017 PDF; same available in other formats (for -e-readers:
Passed to BackChannels in the way of all free press, the Senate report retells not only the story of Russian infiltration of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and subsequent access to internal exchanges in e-mail, it touches on the history, scope, and techniques of KGB-style methods involved.