With the November midterms approaching, U.S. Cyber Command has conducted operations to prevent Russia from meddling in the elections, an administration official has said.
This operation is the first of its kind and serves to make sure that Russian actors don’t interfere with the midterms as they did with the 2016 presidential election. ABC News was told by an administration official that U.S. Cyber Command (Cybercom) has carried out operations targeting individual Russian operatives to deny them access to resources and information that could enable them to carry out malign activities related to the election.
According to the official, the cyber operation is part of a larger effort to prevent future election meddling by Russia.
A spokesperson for the Pentagon refused to discuss details regarding the operations.
“For security reasons, we do not publicly discuss future or ongoing military operations,” said Major Audricia Harris, a Pentagon spokesperson. “The department is committed to defending our nation against any threats in any domain, including the cyber domain.”
Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russians had meddled in the 2016 election, which has led the U.S. government to focus on preventing a recurrence in this year’s midterm elections and beyond.
Last Friday, a Russian operative, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova was charged with carrying out “information warfare.” She was found to have been the chief accountant for a $35 million effort to create political tensions in the United States and elsewhere using social media and other online sites.
According to prosecutors, the woman and her alleged conspirators did so by using fake online identities pretending to be “ordinary American political activists” supporting a variety of political views.