recommended reading

Pentagon propaganda campaign targeted reporters asking about propaganda

Hadi Mizban/AP

Two USA Today reporters became the targets of a ham-fisted online smear campaign after they started asking questions about the other ham-fisted propaganda efforts being carried out by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. The culprits used fake Twitter and Facebook accounts and set up slanderous Wikipedia entries to try and discredit Tom Vanden Brook and his editor Ray Locker, almost immediately after they began working on a story about military contractors hired to perform "information operations" in support of our overseas wars. The report, which ran on February 29, concluded that the Pentagon has spent of hundreds of millions of dollars on poorly executed and poorly monitored propaganda efforts that did little to help the war effort and possibly even undermined it.

The fact that the fake websites and accounts were registered shortly after Vanden Brook began contacting Pentagon contractors (who supposedly specialize in such information campaigns) suggests an obvious attempt to pre-emptively embarrass the paper and discredit their work. It also seems to verify the premise of their story, which is that these people aren't very good at their job. While the tactics they used are common in the online reputation game, they were completely transparent and easily uncovered. The least ambitious message board troll can register a fake website domain and fake Wikipedia pages hardly count as sophisticated psychological warfare. If the military can't do any better than this, it's no wonder we're not winning the hearts and minds of our adversaries.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.