The Russian agents pretended to work for organizations promoting African-American businesses as a slick way to obtain personal information from black business owners during the 2016 presidential election campaign and it worked.
Using names like “BlackMattersUS” and “Black4Black,” the Russian agents set up hundreds of accounts on Facebook and Instagram, the Wall Street Journal said.
Adm. Michael Rogers, chief of the U.S. Cyber Command and head of the National Security Agency, last week told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the White House had not directed him to take any actions to counter potential Russian meddling in the 2018 elections.
“The impact of social media is very real,” said Ajay K. Gupta, program chair for computer networks and cybersecurity at the University of Maryland.
“The lack of real attribution for social media content means that elections are being impacted by people who we don’t know who they are. Russians have said since the beginning of the Cold War they would be able to defeat America without firing a single bullet. They couldn’t do that as the U.S.S.R., but social media has given them another opportunity to try that.” ~ Gupta
What can consumers do to protect themselves? Users should “approach social media with the same skepticism that they should be approaching email and scams,” Risk Based Security’s Martin advised.
Looks like the love of the computer will become more complicated in the years to come and what we once all enjoyed to use as a tool of escape will become our ultimate nightmare.