Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Google, are paying a campaign of misinformation Russian

Recent reports were able to highlight the role of social networks and the internet on some elections. Users were able to discover that hackers could easily set up farms to troll, sometimes financed by structures and well-organized. The american campaign of 2016 has been able to prove that activists of Russian is in are given to heart joy. But the phenomenon has grown and today it is much simpler to pay for the services of an individual to launch a campaign of defamation or spreading a fake news.

Andrew Gully, an employee of Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Google that specializes in the fight against cybercrime, censorship and extremism online (among others), has spoken on the subject to Wired. In the context of an experiment aimed to demonstrate the simplicity of access to this kind of service, the firm has created a fake site designed to denigrate Stalin. Despite its legacy of bloody, the former leader of the USSR is undergoing a rehabilitation of a part of the population for a few years.

A man nicknamed SEOTweet was first proposed to remove the site, and then accepted a $ 250 (around 220 euros) to launch a smear campaign on two weeks. He has posted 730 tweets (in Russian) for 25 different accounts, but also dozens of comments on forums. Despite everything, this is a meticulous work, because they were not written not bots.

The echo of this operation has obviously not been very powerful, but one can imagine that the procedure is much more effective if the allocated budget is (much) more important.

Act against DDoS attacks in large-scale

Jigsaw is very interested in the issue and has recently used a high-performance tool, named Project Shield, at the last european elections. This allows protect transactions, and political websites against denial of service attacks (DDoS), which can result in an inaccessible server from several hours to several days.

The interest is obvious. This shield can prevent hackers, paid or voluntarily, take it to a site with important information about an upcoming election. This protection therefore extends to information sites, to those journalists, associations for the defence of civil rights and sites used to monitor and control the outcome of an election.

A DDoS attack can easily make it inaccessible by simulating a multitude of queries that the server fails to respond. The result is that the site is simply inaccessible.

The Project Shield comes to the defense of these sites by detecting false queries and preventing them from connecting to the server. In the past, only the United States took advantage during political campaigns. This was the case of the Union during the last may elections.