The Russian troll factory that was reportedly hit by a Pentagon cyber operation to stop meddling in the 2018 midterms has confirmed that it was attacked—but insisted Wednesday that the U.S. operation was a “complete failure.” The Federal News Agency, widely believed to the be sister organization of the infamous Internet Research Agency controlled by “Putin’s chef” Evgeny Prigozhin, says the cyberattack disabled two of its server’s four hard drives but did not stop work entirely. The IRA was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller last year for meddling in the 2016 election. Calling the operation by the U.S. Cyber Command “unprofessional and counterproductive,” FAN claimed the real purpose was not to prevent election interference but to block the agency’s English-language coverage of U.S. elections, which it said involved FAN staffers in the U.S. examining “how fair, democratic, and without violations” they are. The agency said the U.S. military was able to gain access to their network through an “infected iPhone that an employee unknowingly connected to his computer.” According to The Washington Post, Trump personally authorized the U.S. cyber command operation blocking the IRA's internet access during the November midterms—which one source said completely shut the IRA down.
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