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Fri Mar 2, 2018, 02:24 AM

 

Secret Documents From Russias Election Trolls Leak

Exclusive: Secret Documents From Russia’s Election Trolls Leak
An online auction gone awry reveals substantial new details about how the Kremlin-backed troll farm ginned up IRL protests and targeted specific Americans to push their propaganda.

BEN COLLINS
GIDEON RESNICK
SPENCER ACKERMAN
03.01.18 9:02 PM ET


The Kremlin-backed troll farm at the center of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election has quietly suffered a catastrophic security breach, The Daily Beast has confirmed, in a leak that spilled new details of its operations onto obscure corners of the internet.

The Russian “information exchange” Joker.Buzz, which auctions off often stolen or confidential information, advertised a leak for a large cache of the Internet Research Agency’s (IRA) internal documents. It includes names of Americans, activists in particular, whom the organization specifically targeted; American-based proxies used to access Reddit and the viral meme site 9Gag; and login information for troll farm accounts.

Even the advertisement for the document dump provides a trove of previously unknown information about the breadth of Russia’s disinformation effort in the United States, including rallies pushed by IRA social media accounts that turned violent.

While special counsel Robert Mueller’s recent conspiracy indictment against the IRA showed a sophisticated organization aimed at targeting U.S. voters with disinformation, the seller appears not to have understood the implications of the auction.

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“The leaks show that Russian imposter accounts targeted activists for specific causes the Kremlin-backed troll farm wanted promoted. On the target list: the daughter of one of Martin Luther King’s lieutenants.”
While the date of the auction could not be independently confirmed, the authenticity of the leak can. The leaked documents list screen names connected to a number of American citizens who were used as unwitting proxies by the Russians. The Daily Beast was able to track down four of those citizens, whose names have not been previously revealed. The leak contains precise dates in 2016 in which the IRA-created account Blacktivist reached out to those U.S. citizens, plus a short description of the conversations. The Daily Beast spoke to those citizens, and confirmed they interacted with the Blacktivist account in the ways described by the IRA in the document. In one case, the American even provided screenshots of his interactions with the Russian troll trying to dupe him.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-secret-documents-from-russias-election-trolls-leak?ref=home?ref=home

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Reply Secret Documents From Russias Election Trolls Leak (Original post)
poboy2 Mar 2018 OP
Cracklin Charlie Mar 2018 #1
demmiblue Mar 2018 #2
poboy2 Mar 2018 #6
poboy2 Mar 2018 #3
FarCenter Mar 2018 #5
meow2u3 Mar 2018 #4
poboy2 Mar 2018 #7
poboy2 Mar 2018 #8
poboy2 Mar 2018 #9

Response to poboy2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 03:24 AM

1. Uh-oh.

This could be big.

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Response to poboy2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 07:55 AM

2. K&R

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Response to demmiblue (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 11:50 AM

6. thank you. -eom

 

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Response to poboy2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 09:24 AM

3. more-

 

The leak shows that even as the Russian trolls were able to influence and manipulate American political discourse online, they were less equipped to keep their own secrets. While The Daily Beast does not possess anything close to a comprehensive trove of the IRA’s internal operations, it is now likely that substantial amounts of the troll farm’s files are waiting to be discovered online.

But what The Daily Beast has seen provides a new level of texture and detail to the IRA’s U.S. efforts, online and off. While the troll farm’s use of YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook is now well-known, the leak shows that the Internet Research Agency also operated on Reddit and had a substantial footprint on Tumblr. They documented and tracked their personalized interactions with specific, unsuspecting Americans, some of whom are named in the leaks.

Those outreach efforts display conceptual sophistication. The leaks show that IRA imposter accounts targeted activists for specific causes the Russians wanted promoted. On the target list: the daughter of one of Martin Luther King’s lieutenants.

But the leaks also provide a glimpse into the troll farm’s weaknesses. Some of the Americans the group contacted described receiving impersonal entreaties from unfamiliar accounts, asking for trivial aid and then declining to follow up. The Internet Research Agency might have known how to leverage social media, but they knew far less about how users authentically interact with each other on it—which itself attracted suspicion amongst the very people the Russians were contacting.

“I couldn’t put my finger on it. I didn’t know who they were and why they were remaining anonymous, and I didn’t really see the need for it,” said Craig Carson, a Rochester, New York, attorney and civil rights activist who was contacted by the farm-created account Blacktivist.

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Response to poboy2 (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 10:42 AM

5. Like the Nigerian scammers, they probably tune their approach to attract the most gullible

 

If you are a scammer, you don't want to deal with smart and wary marks.

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Response to poboy2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 10:37 AM

4. K&R for exposure

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 01:53 PM

7. Thank you. -eom

 

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Response to poboy2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 03:07 PM

8. bump

 

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Response to poboy2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2018, 07:23 PM

9. final bump

 

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