Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Information Operations of Influence: Risks and Countermeasures

Information Operations of Influence: Risks and Countermeasures

O G Leonova

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation, email:


The topic’s pertinence. Operations of information influence are aimed at interfering in a system of national elections, forming public opinion and destabilizing the socio-political situation in a country. Goal setting: identification of a risk system of information influence operations and systematizing possible countermeasures. Theory. The problem of elections system security has technical and political dimensions. Possible technical risks can be divided into three groups that are connected, firstly, with the security of the elections support system, secondly, with the security of the voting process, and, thirdly, with the vote counting process. Political risks cover corruption and information influence operations aiming, among other things, at disseminating misleading information. Practice. Technical risks of the elections procedure comprise unsanctioned access to databases; software “impermeability”; its quality; dependence of electronic devices on the Internet connection; a virus or a malfunction in a software that can automatically delete a person from a voting register; phishing technology etc. Misleading information technology and dissemination of falsified information cover personalization of information; information targeting; the creation of “interest targets”; “information baits” for consumers, “feedback loops”, “filtering bubble” and “organic lift.” Propositions and conclusions. There are three packages of information operations countermeasures. The first package consists of tasks for public information policy. The second package aims at cooperating with information users and consumers. The third package contains technical countermeasures to combat information influence operations.