Russian Cyber Strategies for Destabilization

By Nancy Langley, Policy Choices
Originally published December 04, 2018 | 5:10pm

As Robert Mueller’s investigations have, to date, yielded numerous indictments against various members of the Trump campaign, Russian Military Operatives and others, it is important to understand that the attack on the U.S. election was a multi-channel effort that involved several components:

  1. Cyber Warfare – Voter manipulation. Hacking. 
  2. Influential persons, who through manipulation or cooperation, and within (or around) the U.S. Government, were positioned to issue decisions favorable towards Russian goals.

Here I provide sources that explain the cyber warfare component utilized by Russia to manipulate voters in the 2016 election.

This Act TV animated video provides a quick explanation of the tactics Russia used in the U.S. to destabilize the nation.

The New York Times also provide a visual depiction to explain how Russian bots and trolls influenced the 2016 election. That video can be accessed here.

Another source of explanation is provided by the Wall Street Journal where they explain how these attacks obtained personal-level information.

Similar in the videos are definitions for terms like “bots” and “trolls”, and explanations about organized Russian military operations using those mechanisms as means of influence.

Troll and bot operations are one form of interference used to manipulate public opinion. The other action involved hacking. That aspect was used to obtain information about campaigns, corporations, organizations and individuals seen by Russia as adversaries.

The targets in both campaigns were not protected by their political party affiliations.

What is made clear by these and ongoing cyber-attacks is that Americans must unite to battle our foreign enemies. Our war is not Republicans against Democrats. It is between the United States and those who seek to inflict damage upon us.



New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Sources accessed 24 August 2018.