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World Facebook takes down suspicious accounts linked to Russia

02:22  25 september  2020
02:22  25 september  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

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Facebook said Wednesday it purged dozens of accounts linked to Russian military intelligence in the latest effort to root out manipulation and Facebook said it also took down separate networks in Iran, Vietnam and Myanmar. Six Facebook and five Instagram accounts from Iran that were focused on

Facebook removed hundreds of pages and accounts linked to Russia , including ties to Moscow's Sputnik news agency, the company said Thursday. One was linked to employees at Sputnik, a Russian news agency based in Moscow. The operation included 364 pages and accounts operated

Facebook has taken down a slew of suspicious accounts on Facebook and Instagram tied to Russian military or intelligence assets, according to a report the company released Thursday.

a close up of a computer keyboard: gettyimages-1228003986-594x594.jpg © NurPhoto gettyimages-1228003986-594x594.jpg

The FBI tipped Facebook off on some of the posts, which led to the removal of some of the accounts. They targeted several countries, including the U.S., U.K., China and Belarus, although Facebook said the activity primarily focused on Syria and Ukraine.

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In January, Facebook took down hundreds of accounts from Iran that were part of a vast manipulation campaign operating in more than 20 countries. Additionally, last October, Facebook removed 82 pages, groups and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran and targeted people

Why would my Facebook Page get taken down or have limits pla Why is my Facebook Payments Spammers and scammers sometimes create phony accounts that look like they’re from Facebook . To learn more about suspicious emails, messages or notifications, visit the Help Center here: https

"We removed three separate networks for violating our policy against foreign or government interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB) on behalf of a foreign or government entity. These networks originated in Russia," Facebook announced on its website. One network was tied to the Russian military, another was linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency and the third was associated with Russian intelligence services.

On a call with reporters, Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy for Facebook, described the three networks as small and not primarily focused on the U.S. However, because of the behavior the networks were engaged in and because between now and Election Day, they might pivot to focus on the U.S., the company decided to remove them.

Facebook took down a Chinese disinformation network that spread propaganda across Southeast Asia and the US

  Facebook took down a Chinese disinformation network that spread propaganda across Southeast Asia and the US The network mostly focused on regional issues, but also posted "in support of and against" Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg."In each case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts as a central part of their operations to mislead people about who they are and what they are doing," Facebook head of security Nathaniel Gleicher wrote in a blog post.

Facebook has taken down 652 pages, accounts and groups it identified as part of coordinated disinformation campaigns that originated in Iran and targeted countries around the world. It also found a number of new pages connected to Russia . The Iran- linked pages and groups spread misinformation

Facebook announced Monday that it had removed dozens of suspicious accounts involved in “coordinated” activity that “may be linked to foreign entities”—after receiving a tip from law enforcement. “Our very early-stage investigation has so far identified around 30 Facebook accounts

The Russian-linked networks were pretending to be locals in countries they were targeting and attempted to drive people off the platform onto websites that masqueraded as legitimate advocacy or news websites that included leaks of compromising information, Gleicher said.

In total, Facebook announced it has removed 214 Facebook users, 35 pages, 18 groups and 34 Instagram accounts for violating its policy against foreign or government interference and coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government entity.

On Facebook's post, the social media giant said it fears a "hack and leak" operation, like the one that occurred during the 2016 presidential election cycle with the emails from the Democratic National Committee. While there is no evidence of an instance like that, Facebook is running a 24-hour operation to combat that possibility.

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Among the Russian ads released by House Democrats this week were links promoting malicious Chrome extensions. Among them: Ads purchased in May of 2016 that promoted a suspicious Chrome extension that gained wide access to the Facebook accounts and web browsing behavior of

The company did not definitively link the campaign to Russia . But Facebook officials said some of But there were clues that the suspicious accounts may have been connected to the Internet That event page has been taken down , and Facebook has notified roughly 2,600 users who had indicated

"We've seen deceptive campaigns target journalists and public figures in the past, including as part of hack-and-leak operations," Facebook wrote. "Hack-and-leak — where a bad actor steals sensitive information, sometimes manipulates it, and then strategically releases it to influence public debate — is one of the threats we're particularly focused on and concerned about ahead of the November elections in the U.S."

Here are a couple of the removed accounts:

a screenshot of a cell phone: Example of a fake account removed by Facebook  / Credit: Facebook © Provided by CBS News Example of a fake account removed by Facebook  / Credit: Facebook a screenshot of a cell phone on a table: Example of a fake account removed by Facebook.  / Credit: Facebook © Provided by CBS News Example of a fake account removed by Facebook.  / Credit: Facebook

The country's top counterintelligence official said this summer that multiple foreign adversaries are actively targeting the November election in a variety of ways, from launching influence campaigns in social and traditional media, to targeting election infrastructure, to attempting to compromise the private communications of political officials.

"At this time, we're primarily concerned with China, Russia and Iran, although other nation-states and non-state actors could also do harm to our electoral process," Bill Evanina, National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director, said in July.  "Our insights and judgments will evolve as the election season progresses."

— CBS News Andres Triay, Olivia Gazis and Kathryn Watson contributed to this post.

The Backstory: Facebook is fighting forces that want to disrupt our election. Is it doing enough? .
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This is interesting!