An article from The Daily Beast purports that there are no signs yet of Russian hacking or interference in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections – which is good news, if it’s true.
Like all news, let’s take it with a grain of salt. The thrust of the article’s argument is that Russia did such a good job messing with 2016’s polls that it doesn’t have to lift a finger now.
That’s a comforting thought but not one suffused with true understanding of how state intelligence actors operate. Russia’s work advancing its interests is never done, same as it is with the United States or any other nation-state.
Influence operations are marathons and not sprints, and their means and methods vary widely, as this handy but incomplete list of Russian spying operations around the world can attest.
So even if Russia’s operations around the 2016 election achieved their goals, it’s not like Moscow said “OK, we’re good now.” More than likely, they’re shifting to other modes of operation that aren’t as well-known since surprise and stealth are the fundamental elements of covert action.
After all, a thief whose best hauls came from breaking in through unlocked windows doesn’t stop once the people in the neighborhood start locking them. He just breaks the glass instead.
Be listening for that sound.
Read the full story here.