Russian Hackers Are Trying To Interfere In Brazilian Elections, Cybersecurity Firm Says

Case was discovered in the end of September and there is ongoing activity

Bruno Benevides

Russian hackers tried to interfere in the Brazilian elections using social media to artificially amplify discussions that questioned democracy in Brazil and other topics connected to the presidential run.

Moscow's activities were discovered by cybersecurity firm FireEye, a company that usually works with the American country against foreign threats to US security.

The hacking was detected by late September, and were seen even during one of the presidential debates, said Cristiana Kittner, a Brazilian FireEye employee who was responsible to investigate cyber-spying activities.

A "war room" being built at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. as part of its initiative to prevent political disinformation and election interference - Jason Henry/The New York Times

It's the first time that a hacking act that can be directly connected to Russia appears in the Brazilian election calendar.

The case discovered by FireEye is linked to the Brazilian branch of the group Anonymous that goes by @anonopsbrazil. They started a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #OpEleiçãoContraOFascismo" (Operation Against Fascism).

The Russian robots - called bots - were used to increase the reach of posts, making the subject gain more relevance in social media. In general, the posts criticized the democratic model and question the election's legitimacy.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

Read the article in the original language  ​​