The taskforce uncovered “more than 2,500 examples” of hack attempts
And German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been revealed to be the number one target following a “bombardment” of fake news over her refugee policy.
The source said: “There is an enormous, far-reaching, at least partly organised, disinformation campaign against the EU, its politicians and its principles.”
The EU is financially supporting the fight against Russia influence
Last year, German intelligence warned Russian hackers may seek to influence the country’s elections in September.
But fears have now grown after East StratCom, set up by the EU in 2015 to counter Russian propaganda, claims it has already found evidence of a massive fake news campaign targeting European countries.
The task force said over the past 15 months it had uncovered “more than 2,500 examples” – in a total of 18 languages – of stories contradicting publicly available facts.
Vladimir Putin in pictures
Tue, December 13, 2016
Russin President Vladimir Putin in pictures
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There is an enormous, far-reaching, at least partly organised, disinformation campaign against the EU, its politicians and its principles
EU task force source
Stories were repeated on a daily basis and reproduced in several other language, speeding like wildfire across the continent.
A source close to the task force said: “There is no doubt that the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign is an orchestrated strategy.
“The aim of this disinformation campaign is to weaken and destabilise the West, by exploiting existing divisions or creating artificial new ones.
Vladimir Putin has been accused of personally ordering the hacking campaign
“Often, outright lies are deployed, aimed at denigrating a particular person, political group or government.
“Another strategy is to spread as many conflicting messages as possible, in order to persuade the audience that there are so many versions of events that it is impossible to find the truth.”
A report by US intelligence agencies earlier this month found that Vladimir Putin personally “ordered an influence campaign aimed at the presidential election”.