Facebook said on Tuesday that Iranian hackers were suspected of sending threatening messages to U.S. voters via email and spreading false information about the compromised election system. Last year, it conducted a false propaganda campaign targeting the Middle East.

Last week, US officials accused Iran of providing thousands of threatening e-mails and an online video showing hackers breaking into the voter registration system a few days before the US presidential election. Tehran denied the accusation.

Facebook said it has suspended a fake account in an attempt to share videos on its website. This account, in turn, led to the opening of more than 20 other accounts on Facebook and Instagram, revealing an operation to withhold information, which in 2019 targeted countries including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said that the newly discovered accounts were basically inactive, but had previously tried to spread information about “suspected massacres” in the “Europe Song Contest” in Israel last year. “Proposition.

Three people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that US intelligence agencies are still analyzing who exactly directed the operation and its intentions.

Gleicher said on Tuesday that his team found a small number of technical links related to the disinformation network that was suspended in April, which was attributed to the Iranian National Broadcasting Corporation and “connections between individuals connected to the Iranian government.” .

Facebook also stated that it has suspended two pages and 22 Instagram accounts opened by Mexicans and Venezuelans that use fake identities and other forms of so-called “untrue behavior” to publish information about current affairs and politics in the United States.

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Facebook said that some articles published as Americans were published in Spanish and English, covering topics such as race relations, feminism, and the environment. It added that according to the FBI’s prompts, they were determined.

Although it’s not clear who initiated the campaign, some accounts posted pictures with captions previously used by Internet research agencies, but Russia’s organization of US prosecutors said that this played a key role in Moscow’s efforts to influence the 2016 US election. effect.

Gleicher said that the two networks and the third action against Internet users in Myanmar were captured before they attracted a large number of followers.

But he said that “malicious actors” are increasingly worried that their election interference attempts to further untrust and divide.

He said: “We call it a perception hacker.” “You don’t really enter a sensitive voter database or use a large social impact movement, you just play the game when everyone is worried about it.”

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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