We've always known Russia hires paid internet trolls and hackers to influence events around the world including the 2016 election, but their operation could have been even bigger than we suspected.
Comments made by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman Mark Warner suggest he's seen specific intelligence identifying a troll operation.
“Most of this influence came online,” and “without setting foot” in the U.S., Watts said. When it comes to open-source threats, “we miss what’s right in front of our nose,” he said.
Warner told reporters Wednesday there were “upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect, taking over series of computers, which is then called a botnet.”
That's a very specific claim that one normally wouldn't make unless you've seen intelligence reports on the facility. And this wasn't just a massive trolling operation according to Warner, they also hired hackers who infected computers with bots.
These trolls and hackers disseminated fake news reports about Hillary Clinton and compromised the computers of both Democrats and Republicans while choosing to only release information and gossip damaging to Democrats.