Russia's Top Spy Agency Runs Fake News At Home

If the definition of a successful intelligence service is obscurity, the GRU is probably Russia's most effective spy agency. In communist times, the KGB was synonymous with ruthless soviet spies, either  infiltrating the corridors of power abroad or suppressing dissidents at home. 

But few people ever heard of the GRU, an abbreviation  for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Yet the military intelligence service, GRU outlasted the KGB when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and appears to be flourishing today. Since 2016, numerous studies have shown Russian intelligence services’ involvement in online information operations.

Case studies on the notorious fake news operations Internet Research Agency (IRA) and the Ghostwriter campaigns have shed light on the methods allegedly employed by the Russian government to influence and discredit beyond its borders. 

However, little research has focused on Russian Intelligence’s control over the domestic information space. Now, the open source intelligence investigation charity OpenFacto has discovered and mapped more than one thousand Russian-speaking websites linked to the GRU to reconstruct their strategy and objectives, in a landscape already saturated with media loyal to the Kremlin.

OpenFacto’s study revealed that InfoRos, a news agency run by the GRU, began expanding into local news around 2012 throughout Russia.

By registering no fewer than 1,341 digital « news portals » attached to cities, towns, districts, or even villages, InfoRos has created a network of amplifiers that surreptitiously broadcast the Russian government’s preferred narrative. The websites are primarily empty shells that regularly copy and paste innocuous content. These sites publish InfoRos content at regular intervals, which has a pro-government or anti-Western tone.

The sites appears to propagate an editorial policy which appears to be defined by the GRU, whose mandate is theoretically limited to outside the Russian Federation.

“Russian intelligence agencies are taking a more central role in disinformation efforts that Russia is pushing now,” said Laura Rosenberger, the director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy. “It is not the blunt force” of the operations mounted by the Internet Research Agency, which was previously been accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee computer network and trying to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

OpenFact.fr:     ResearchGate:        Reddit:      BBC:       NYT:      Meduza.io

You Might Also Read:

Russian Trolls Target News Websites:

 

« The Frailty Of Email
Using Social Media To Track The Pandemic »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

ManageEngine

ManageEngine

As the IT management division of Zoho Corporation, ManageEngine prioritizes flexible solutions that work for all businesses, regardless of size or budget.

North Infosec Testing (North IT)

North Infosec Testing (North IT)

North IT (North Infosec Testing) are an award-winning provider of web, software, and application penetration testing.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

LockLizard

LockLizard

Locklizard provides PDF DRM software that protects PDF documents from unauthorized access and misuse. Share and sell documents securely - prevent document leakage, sharing and piracy.

DMH Stallard

DMH Stallard

DMH Stallard is a mid-market law firm. Areas of expertise include cyber security and cyber crime.

Apricorn

Apricorn

Apricorn provides hardware-based 256-bit encrypted external storage products to companies and organizations that require high-level protection for their data at rest.

MAD Security

MAD Security

MAD Security is a premier provider of information and cybersecurity solutions that combine technology, managed security services, support and training.

Bavarian IT Security Cluster

Bavarian IT Security Cluster

The Bavarian IT Security Cluster works to build regional IT security competencies and increase the competitiveness and market opportunities of its member companies.

Procsima Group

Procsima Group

Procsima Group was created to help you achieve good IT management and security excellence.

Q-Net Security

Q-Net Security

Protect your critical networks. Q-Net Security make hardware that provides the strongest drop-in security for your existing critical infrastructure.

NetSPI

NetSPI

NetSPI is an information security penetration testing and vulnerability assessment management advisory firm.

Data Storage Corp (DSC)

Data Storage Corp (DSC)

Data Storage Corporation is a provider of data recovery and business continuity services that help organizations protect their data, minimize downtime and recover and restore data.

InfoSystems Inc

InfoSystems Inc

InfoSystems provides reliable IT solutions to build and maintain strong and secure systems for both SMB and enterprise organizations.

Axellio

Axellio

Axellio provides economic, end-to-end cyber security solutions designed for your team, environment, and security objectives, providing packet level visibility across your network.

US Coast Guard Cyber Command

US Coast Guard Cyber Command

US Coast Guard Cyber Command’s focus is to ensure the security of our cyberspace, maintain superiority over our adversaries,and safeguard our Nation’s critical maritime infrastructure.

Trusted Cyber Solutions

Trusted Cyber Solutions

Trusted Cyber Solutions is an independent Cyber Security and Risk Management consultancy.

Synoptek

Synoptek

Synoptek is a global systems integrator and managed IT services provider (MSP). We offer comprehensive IT management and consultancy services to organizations worldwide.

Unified National Networks (UNN)

Unified National Networks (UNN)

UNN’s mission is to unify the national networks and create a modern and cost efficient digital platform connecting the entire country.

CMIT Solutions

CMIT Solutions

CMIT Solutions is a recognized leader in Managed IT Services for businesses. We empower businesses like yours by providing innovative technology solutions, managed IT services and cybersecurity.

BJSS

BJSS

BJSS is an award-winning technology and engineering consultancy for business.