New report details how Russia, other countries are targeting U.S. military with pro-Trump messages

While it’s been established that social media platforms served as the main outlets used by Russian trolls to spread disinformation and propaganda during the 2016 election, a new report suggests that several countries — including Russia — are now targeting members of the U.S. military and military veterans ahead of the 2020 election.

The Vietnam Veterans Association has just released a report which explains a two-year ongoing effort to spread pro-Trump messages to those with connections to the armed forces of the United States:

“These foreign admins have created individual social-media accounts that purport to belong to American veterans working at reputable veterans organizations,” and use the accounts  to “send friend requests to the relatively small community of veteran advocates and connect with its prominent members who work to shape federal policy” and “spread propaganda and false news, while shaping and moderating/censoring the conversations of the unsuspecting community of American veterans who follow or join these groups and pages.”

Michael Carpenter, who served as a career diplomat for the State Department, highlighted some of the most disturbing findings from the report in a Twitter thread on Monday:

The report goes on to make recommendations for how the U.S. can combat cyberattacks ahead of the 2020 election:

“The White House must elevate American cybersecurity to the Cabinet level by Executive Order (EO), thereby prioritizing and centralizing our response and safeguards to risks from bad actors. A Director of Cybersecurity’s role would be to ensure that American cybersecurity is a priority in every aspect of modern government. This EO should create a Civilian Cybersecurity Advisory Board consisting of Chief Internet Security Officers (CISOs) from the American companies that are the most important stakeholders in American internet infrastructure and cybersecurity.”

Of course, none of us will hold our breath waiting for President Trump to take action against Russia or any other foreign entity which is trying to help him win in 2020. After all, he’s already accused of trying to force Ukraine to help slag former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seen as the biggest threat to Trump if he happens to win the Democratic nomination.

Featured Image Via the U.S. Army