The Growth of Global Election Disinformation: The Role and Methodology of Government-linked Cyber Actors presented at Black Hat USA 2022

by Sandra Quincoses,

Tags: Human Factors Defense


Summary : Nisos researchers uncovered a prolific disinformation campaign focused on Colombia's May 2022 elections in which Venezuelan leftist organizations are driving social media narratives in support of current leftist, Colombian Presidential Candidate, and former M-19 revolutionary member, Gustavo Petro. Prior to its suspension from Twitter, @ChalecosAmarill, used a mix of true and misleading information to advocate for presidential candidates with foreign policy positions favorable to U.S. adversaries, which increased its legitimacy and made disinformation difficult to detect. Its social media activities also include engagement with bot/sock puppet social media networks involved in information operations with the aim of influencing the digital environment, especially in Colombia.Our assessment concludes a high likelihood that Venezuelan left-wing supporter, Rafael Nuñez and his pro-Venezuelan digital marketing associates are responsible for the content found on @ChalecosAmarill's Twitter account and engagement with known bot/sock puppet networks running various Colombia-focused digital campaigns in favor of Petro. Additionally, it is likely that Nuñez's efforts are a result of Venezuelan government interests.