Election Security

Bitdefender Identifies Major Fake News Website Farm Ramping up Social Traffic

It is elections season in the US and digital guerilla groups are making their presence felt in hopes of swinging the vote one way or another. With less than two weeks left to manipulate voters’ opinions, cyber-propagandists are deploying an arsenal of websites to spread disinformation.

Bitdefender researchers have identified a website farm spreading propaganda from more than 100 sites. Named after each state in the United States, these websites have been showing up since mid-September and seem to serve one purpose: to disseminate propaganda on social media.

The analytics system on these websites shows that they expose more than 25,000 users to propaganda per month.

Bitdefender advises users to manifest caution when visiting news outlets they are unfamiliar with and to always check the reputation of a website before sharing its contents on social networks.

About the author

Bogdan BOTEZATU

Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.