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Russia Weaponized Social Media in U.S. Election, FireEye Says

  • Attempts to hack the campaign were unprecedented, DeWalt says
  • Senate Democrats want data on Russian hacking declassified
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Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Russia’s government didn’t just hack and leak documents from U.S. political groups during the presidential campaign: It used social media as a weapon to influence perceptions about the election, according to cybersecurity company FireEye Inc.

Material stolen by Russia’s intelligence services was feverishly promoted by online personas and numerous fake accounts through links to leaked material and misleading narratives, according to an analysis of thousands of postings, links and documents by FireEye, which tracks Russian and Chinese hackers breaking into U.S. systems. The operation was a new and belligerent escalation by Moscow in the cyber domain, company Chairman David DeWalt said.