Kremlin says cyber attacks on Russia often launched from U.S. territory

James Martin  CNET

James Martin CNET

In brief: In a show of online force, the US Cyber Command was able to disrupt the internet access for the infamous Russian Internet Research Agency on the day of the 2018 midterm election.

Aided by intelligence collected by the U.S. National Security Agency, CyberCom carried out an operation that effectively blocked internet access at the IRA office during and immediately after Americans voted in the November 2018 midterm races, the Post first reported.

"They basically took the IRA offline", an individual familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

According to Russian news agency TASS, Russia's sovereign Internet bill, which recently passed through the lower house of parliament, involves "cutting the volume of data exchanged by Russian users, and which is sent overseas", while also requiring operators to "install technical tools on communication networks [to] identify the source of this transmitted traffic".

Owned by a Kremlin-connected oligarch named Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Internet Research Agency came to be known as the Russian troll factory for its alleged efforts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election. "They shut 'em down". Founded in 2009, it shares a headquarters and leadership with the National Security Agency, the main US signals intelligence agency.

Bolton said the move would "create structures of deterrence that will demonstrate to adversaries that the cost of their engaging in operations against us is higher than they want to bear".

Prigozhin, also personally charged by Mueller, has been dubbed "Putin's cook" by Russian media because his catering business has organised banquets for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Many government agencies feared the same thing would happen again in the 2018 elections.

According to the law, President Trump ordered the Defence Minister (Jim Mattis) to conduct operation against the Russian "troll factory".

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