Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Russian Facebook Meddling Behind Anti-Vax/Anti-Mask Uproar

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 12, 2021

Far from being a “Batman” logo, the Russian GRU, is that nation’s military foreign intelligence unit, and is a “holdover” from Russia’s Communist days, and remains chock full with communists. Remember: Just because Russia allegedly isn’t “communist” any more, does NOT mean that they’re not, or that they’re now America’s “friend.” They are NOT. The same folks that were in power when Russia was openly communist are STILL IN POWER. And that includes Vladimir Putin.
Their logo reads: RF Armed Forces MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

This PROVES my suspicion, that RUSSIA has been, and remains the culprit behind all this hubbub about anti-vaxxers.

Only an enemy could have created such dissension in our nation – which works to their advantage.

America has NEVER been like this… EVER!

And you know what else?

You’ll NEVER hear Tucker Carlson, Fox News, nor any other so-called “conservative” talking heads mention this.

And you know what else was “covered up,” per se?

The twelve GRU officers who were mentioned in the Mueller Probe indictments.

But hey… that’s old news.

“While Trey Gowdy went on his “Benghazi 2.0” tirade during the Strozk hearing, and random Democratic Congressional members used the probe to attack the FBI, the government of Russia was silently toasting members of their security services on a job well done. Meanwhile, the Russian government seems to be able to breathe a sigh of diplomatic relief, and pat their intelligence officers on the back. After all, President Trump is as giddy as a virgin teenage boy on prom night about meeting Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in Helsinki. “I wonder if he’ll be my new best friend?”

But this is not.

NSA-CISA-NCSC-FBI Joint Cybersecurity Advisory on Russian GRU Brute Force Campaign

Press Release – July 1, 2021
FORT MEADE, MD – The National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released a Cybersecurity Advisory today exposing malicious cyber activities by Russian military intelligence against U.S. and global organizations, starting from mid-2019 and likely ongoing.  This advisory is being released as part of NSA’s routine and continuing cybersecurity mission to warn network defenders of nation state threats.

“Russian GRU Conducting Global Brute Force Campaign to Compromise Enterprise and Cloud Environments” details how the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) 85th Main Special Service Center (GTsSS) has targeted hundreds of U.S. and foreign organizations using brute force access to penetrate government and private sector victim networks. The advisory reveals the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) GTsSS actors used in their campaign to exploit targeted networks, access credentials, move laterally, and collect and exfiltrate data. It also arms system administrators with the mitigations needed to counter this threat.

Six Russian GRU Officers Charged in Connection with Worldwide Deployment of Destructive Malware and Other Disruptive Actions in Cyberspace
Defendants’ Malware Attacks Caused Nearly One Billion USD in Losses to Three Victims Alone; Also Sought to Disrupt the 2017 French Elections and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 19, 2020
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/six-russian-gru-officers-charged-connection-worldwide-deployment-destructive-malware-and

On Oct. 15, 2020, a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh returned an indictment charging six computer hackers, all of whom were residents and nationals of the Russian Federation (Russia) and officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.

These GRU hackers and their co-conspirators engaged in computer intrusions and attacks intended to support Russian government efforts to undermine, retaliate against, or otherwise destabilize: (1) Ukraine; (2) Georgia; (3) elections in France; (4) efforts to hold Russia accountable for its use of a weapons-grade nerve agent, Novichok, on foreign soil; and (5) the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games after Russian athletes were banned from participating under their nation’s flag, as a consequence of Russian government-sponsored doping effort.

Their computer attacks used some of the world’s most destructive malware to date, including: KillDisk and Industroyer, which each caused blackouts in Ukraine; NotPetya, which caused nearly $1 billion in losses to the three victims identified in the indictment alone; and Olympic Destroyer, which disrupted thousands of computers used to support the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and false registration of a domain name.

According to the indictment, beginning in or around November 2015 and continuing until at least in or around October 2019, the defendants and their co-conspirators deployed destructive malware and took other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia, through unauthorized access to victim computers (hacking). As alleged, the conspiracy was responsible for the following destructive, disruptive, or otherwise destabilizing computer intrusions and attacks:…

There’s a clear, and unmistakable track record of Russian interference in American affairs using computer systems.

The greater point is that division has been sown. Recall the parable of the sower and wheat/tares:

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

From a military perspective, if an enemy can cause their enemy to self-destruct, it is for them, “mission accomplished” with minimal, or no effort.


Facebook Takes Down Anti-Vax Hoax Network ‘Primarily Conducted From Russia’

August 10, 2021 19:26 GMT
https://www.rferl.org/a/facebook-anti-vax-russia/31403348.html

Facebook announced on August 10 that it had shut down a network of dozens of Facebook and Instagram accounts from Russia with connections to a marketing group that was trying to enlist social-media “influencers” to push false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

Its investigators called the accounts connected to Fazze, a subsidiary of U.K.-registered marketing firm AdNow, which mostly operates out of Russia, a “disinformation laundromat.”

It cited its policies against foreign interference.

“We removed 65 Facebook accounts and 243 Instagram accounts from Russia that we linked to Fazze,” it said in its latest report outlining the social-media giant’s actions against inauthentic behavior, adding, “Fazze is now banned from our platform.”

The network was mostly using its influence to push anti-vax messages targeting audiences in India, Latin America, and, to a lesser extent, the United States.

Facebook and other social media have faced sharp criticism, including from U.S. President Joe Biden, for spreading lies about vaccination that hampers efforts around the world to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said the Russia-linked Fazze operation had begun with groups of fake accounts set up in 2020 and likely originating from so-called account farms in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

It used memes and comments including one that claimed one Western vaccine would turn people into apes.

Facebook said multiple health and lifestyle influencers had shared its falsehoods.

Reuters said that neither Fazze nor AdNow could immediately be reached for comment.


Facebook Removes Russian Network That Targeted Influencers To Peddle Anti-Vax Messages

By Elizabeth Culliford
August 10, 20217:37 PM CDT

https://www.reuters.com/technology/facebook-removes-russian-network-that-targeted-influencers-peddle-anti-vax-2021-08-10/

Aug 10 (Reuters) – Facebook said on Tuesday it had removed a network of accounts from Russia that it linked to a marketing firm which aimed to enlist influencers to push anti-vaccine content about the COVID-19 jabs.

The social media company said it had banned accounts connected to Fazze, a subsidiary of UK-registered marketing firm AdNow, which primarily conducted its operations from Russia, for violating its policy against foreign interference. Facebook said the campaign used its platforms primarily to target audiences in India, Latin America and, to a smaller extent, the United States.

The company’s investigators called the campaign a “disinformation laundromat,” creating misleading articles and petitions on forums like Reddit, Medium and Change.org, and using fake accounts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to amplify the content. Facebook said while the majority of the campaign fell flat, the crux of it appeared to be engaging with paid influencers and these posts attracted “some limited attention.”

False claims and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and its vaccines have proliferated on social media sites in recent months. Major tech firms like Facebook have been criticized by U.S. lawmakers and President Joe Biden’s administration, who say the spread of online lies about vaccines is making it harder to fight the pandemic.

Facebook said the Russia-linked operation started with the creation of batches of fake accounts in 2020, likely originating from account farms in Bangladesh and Pakistan, which posed as being based in India. It said the network posted memes and comments on its platforms in November and December 2020 claiming the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine would turn people into chimpanzees, often using scenes from the 1968 “Planet of the Apes” movie.

Alongside this “spammy” campaign, Facebook said a number of health and wellbeing influencers on Instagram also shared hashtags and petitions used by the campaign. It said this was likely part of the operation’s known tactics of working with influencers.

Facebook said that in May 2021, after five months of inactivity, the operation then started questioning the safety of the Pfizer vaccine by pushing an allegedly “hacked and leaked” AstraZeneca document. Facebook investigators said the two phases of activity coincided with periods when several governments were reportedly discussing emergency authorizations for the vaccines.

According to media reports, Fazze contacted influencers on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok in several countries to ask them to push anti-vaccine content for payment, but two French and German influencers exposed the campaign earlier this year, spurring research into the firm.

AdNow did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. Reuters could not immediately reach Fazze for comment.

Researchers have noted an increase both in “for-hire” influence campaigns and also in deceptive operations targeting real online personalities to deliver messages to these influencers’ own ready-made audiences.

Facebook said it took down 65 Facebook accounts and 243 Instagram accounts as part of the Fazze-linked operation. It said 24,000 accounts followed one or more of the Instagram accounts. The company said questions about the campaign remained, such as who commissioned Fazze to run it.

Facebook also said in its Tuesday report it had in July removed a separate network in Myanmar, linked to individuals associated with the Myanmar military and targeting audiences in the country. It said the operation used duplicate and fake accounts, some posing as protesters and members of the opposition while others ran pro-military Facebook Pages.

The social network banned the Myanmar military from Facebook and Instagram in February, after the army seized power in a coup. read more

Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in Birmingham, England; Additional reporting by Polina Ivanova in Moscow; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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