Russians and Iranians received a mysterious US text message for hybrid criminals
WARSAW, (BM) – Iranians and Russians received SMS messages encouraging them to cooperate with American services to catch hackers engaging in campaigns disrupting the election process in the United States, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing CyberDefence24.
The announcement offered USD 10 million and provided a link to a program implemented by the US Department of State. Moscow decisively reacted to the situation, unambiguously accusing Washington of conducting an information operation in Russia. “What if not a true hybrid attack?” – says a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Iranian citizens received mysterious text messages offering a reward in return for providing information on malicious campaigns to interfere with US elections. The Russians also received similar messages – reports the Reuters agency.
The news was a promotion of the Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program initiated by the US Department of State. As previously reported, Washington is offering a multi-million dollar award for information leading to the identification or location of anyone involved in campaigns that disrupt the US electoral process. The case concerns interference in the American political scene at the federal and state levels.
The Donald Trump administration is committed to identifying individuals who may act independently or under the control of a foreign government. Authorities will also reward tips on where suspects are located. Funds for distinguished informants will be spent under a special fund.
“The ability of individuals, as well as state actors, to interfere with or undermine public confidence in U.S. elections, including through unauthorized access to political infrastructure and campaigns, is an extraordinary threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy,” reads the official website devoted to Rewards for Justice.
There is currently no known specific source for the mysterious SMS. However, all traces lead directly to the United States. One Iranian reached by Reuters indicates that he was initially confused and did not know what the message meant. It was only through Twitter that he learned that the message had reached millions of citizens and was about a program funded by the US Department of State.
“The United States pays up to $ 10 million for any information about foreign interference in the US election,” the Reuters news agency reported. The announcement was written in Farsi and also includes a link to Rewards for Justice.
The problem is escalating because the mysterious news may be considered by Tehran as a threat and interference in the internal affairs of the state. Additionally, the situation is aggravated by the fact that they were most likely dispatched by the United States – Iran’s main adversary.
What’s more, Russian citizens also received messages of this type. Media reports were confirmed by the spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, who indicated that citizens were persuaded to cooperate with the American government by a high prize. According to Moscow, the American actions are devoid of “ethical, moral and legal standards.”
“Through all their platforms, American> diplomats information <about alleged or ongoing Russian interference in the American elections,” reads a statement published on Facebook by a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. – “And all this with the silent but methodical collection of personal data.”
A very strong entry is aimed directly at Washington and clearly condemns the policies of the Donald Trump administration. “Neither American prosecutors nor judges found any interference from the Kremlin (in the American elections, ed.). Nobody found her,” emphasized Maria Zakharova. “Now they will search the Russians, resolving a purely pragmatic situation.”
A spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs points out that if the situation took place the other way around, there would be an international scandal that Washington would certainly publicize.
“Let’s imagine a mirror image: the Russian Foreign Ministry addresses American citizens directly and announces a similar rewards program. Then it sends out SMS messages via the American mobile operator,” points out Maria Zakharova. How would the whole situation end?
The MFA spokesman concluded the strong entry with an unambiguous statement: “By offering money in exchange for information about interference in the elections, the American services are unceremoniously interfering in our lives. What if not a true hybrid attack? ”
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