With the 2020 election quickly approaching, hackers and trolls are “refreshing” their operations to evade detection, the New York Times reports.
The Russian hacking group, Fancy Bear aka APT28, is shifting its tactics by using servers in the US to carry out its attacks, so US spy agencies prohibited from domestic surveillance cannot track its activities.
Additionally, the Internet Research Agency —a Russian-linked company now indicted behind much of the Russian disinformation spread in 2016 — has also changed tactics. They are now using encrypted communication tools, such as ProtonMail, ultimately making it harder for western intelligence agencies to track them.
Worse still, the group is also exploiting “a hole in Facebook’s ban on foreigners buying political ads” by paying American users of Facebook to handover their accounts and setting up offshore bank accounts to cover their financial tracks.
Although America’s defences have improved since the 2016 presidential election, American officials are keeping an eye out for hints about what to expect come November.