Russia meddled in U.S. elections via Facebook, Zuckerberg confirms

17:50, 19 July 2018
World
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REUTERS

"Well the evidence that we’ve seen is quite clear, that the Russians did try to interfere with the election," he said in an interview with Recode.

"All of what we saw is on Facebook," Zuckerberg said, adding that "we’ve tried to cooperate with the government and the different investigations that are going on."

Zuckerberg, who has been widely criticized for what many believe was inefficient policies to tackle the misuse of Facebook by various actors, says "what we saw, before the election, was this Russian hacking group, part of Russian military intelligence, that I guess our government calls APT28," the group engaged in "traditional methods of hacking: Phishing people’s accounts, just getting access to people’s accounts."

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"We identified this, actually, in the middle of 2015 and notified the FBI. When we saw similar activity through the campaign in 2016, that they were trying to phish people’s accounts in both the DNC and RNC, we notified some of the people over there as well, [who] we thought were at risk. Later we also identified that they had set up a fake account and fake pages under the banner of, connected to this thing, DCLeaks, in order to seed stolen information that they had gotten to journalists," Zuckerberg said.

 He stressed that around the time of the election, Facebook "had given this context to the FBI," adding that the investigation has "clearly gone much further now, at this point, in terms of putting the whole story together."

As reported earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump said he held his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin's responsible for Russia meddling in the U.S. presidential elections in 2016, according to CBS News, "because he's in charge of the country." The statement reversed the earlier comment on Russia interference Trump made during a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, July 16, where the U.S. president cast doubt on the findings of the U.S. intelligence community and said Putin's denial was "strong and powerful."

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