The cyberwar between the west and Russia has escalated after the UK and the US issued a joint alert accusing Moscow of mounting a "malicious" internet offensive that appeared to be aimed at espionage, stealing intellectual property and laying the foundation for an attack on infrastructure. Senior security officials in the US and UK held a rare joint conference call to directly blame the Kremlin for targeting government institutions, private sector organisations and infrastructure, and internet providers supporting these sectors. Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, set out a range of actions the US could take such as fresh sanctions and indictments as well as retaliating with its own cyber-offensive capabilities. "We are pushing back and we are pushing back hard," he said. Joyce stressed the offensive could not be linked to Friday's raid on Syria.
Russian interference in democratic debate on social media may not actually be that effective. That is the conclusion of one of the first major studies to look at how disinformation campaigns affected public opinion. Sunshine Hillygus at Duke University and colleagues tracked over 1200 politically partisan Twitter users on the social network, with their permission, during October and November 2017. The goal was to see how interaction with other people on Twitter affected their attitudes to politics. Then Twitter released the names of more than 4000 accounts connected with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Saint Petersburg-based firm that allegedly delivers disinformation on behalf of the Russian government.
An armed Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft in the Baltic Sea on Monday, two U.S. officials told Fox News. A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet performs during an aviation show outside Moscow. The Russian Su-27 jet had air-to-air missiles under its wings and approached the U.S. Air Force RC-135 recon jet "rapidly," coming within five feet of the American aircraft, the officials said. Once alongside, the Russian jet was "provocative" in its flight maneuvers and flying "erratically," according to another official. Since June 2nd there have been over 35 interactions in the Baltic Sea region between U.S. and Russian jets and warships, but the incident Monday morning is notable because the U.S. military considered it "unsafe," according to one official.
A Nato fighter jet has approached a Russian plane carrying the defence minister but was chased away by a Russian escort jet, Russian media say. They say the incident happened in international airspace over the Baltic when Sergei Shoigu was flying to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Nato later said it had tracked Russian planes but they did not identify themselves. The US earlier said a Russian jet flew within 5ft (1.5m) of a US spy plane. American officials blamed Russia for the "unsafe" encounter on Monday - again over the Baltic.