WASHINGTON – The U.S. military disrupted the internet access of a Russian troll farm accused of trying to influence American voters on Nov. 6, 2018, the day of the congressional elections, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The U.S. Cyber Command strike targeted the Internet Research Agency in the Russian port city of St. Petersburg, the Post reported, citing unidentified U.S. officials.
The group is a Kremlin-backed outfit whose employees had posed as Americans and spread disinformation online in an attempt to also influence the 2016 election, according to U.S. officials.
“They basically took the IRA (Internet Research Agency) offline,” the Post quoted one person familiar with the matter as saying. “They shut ’em down.”
Cyber Command had no immediate comment on the report.
The Internet Research Agency was one of three entities and 13 Russian individuals indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office in February 2018 in an alleged criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the U.S. presidential race, boost Trump and disparage his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
Prosecutors said the agency is controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who U.S. officials have said has extensive ties to Russia’s military and political establishment.
Prigozhin, also personally charged by Mueller, has been dubbed “Putin’s cook” by Russian media because his catering business has organized banquets for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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