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Task Force Report Describes DOJ’s Efforts to Address Cyber Threats Posed by Foreign Influence Operations

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday announced the release of a report that provides an assessment of cybersecurity threats facing the country and describes how the Justice Department detects and responds to those threats.

The department said Thursday the report was produced by the cyber-digital task force that Sessions established in February and led by Sujit Raman, associate deputy attorney general.

The document’s first chapter describes the five types of foreign influence operations and how such activities can target U.S. elections and other democratic institutions.

Those operations include cyber activities that zero in on the election infrastructure, political organizations, officials and campaigns; covert operations to harm political campaigns and organizations; covert activities that include disinformation to cause division and influence public opinion; and use of foreign media entities and lobbyists to influence the public and other overt influence initiatives, according to the fact sheet.

The report also cites how DoD responds to such operations and those include collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to facilitate data sharing on cyber threats; investigation and prosecution of criminal activities; and formation of partnerships with social media entities to help them identify foreign influence activities.

The task force also discussed in the report fraud schemes, data theft and other cyber threats, the FBI’s efforts to address cyber incidents and the department’s initiative to train and manage its cyber workforce.

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