Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi says his Telegram account was compromised during the August 2022 elections.
In a piece carried by The Guardian on Wednesday, The hacking and disinformation team meddling in elections – Telegram accounts belonging to individuals who worked in President William Ruto’s campaign team were hacked.
According to Itumbi, the Israeli hackers attempted to hack his account but were unsuccessful.
He, however, disclosed that he used the account to share misleading information with the hackers.
“I began sharing believable but wrong information about our campaign structures and true to word, the opposition started putting out messages based on the wrong info that I was intentionally sharing to mislead the hackers,” Itumbi tweeted.
“For instance in one such conversation, together with others we put up a staged conversation, saying we would not deploy agents and that it was too expensive… But in reality, we were already recruiting agents. It was clear in my mind that those interested in the information were working for our competitors.”
“Luckily, they have owned up to their mischief,” he says.
I confirm that there was increased activity on my Telegram towards the end of the campaign period
However I do not use Telegram for any communication,
After noticing the increased activity….1/ pic.twitter.com/c5ZeWRWZAS
— Dennis Itumbi, HSC (@OleItumbi) February 15, 2023
According to The Guardian, the team leader, a 50-year-old former Israeli Special Forces agent Tal Hanan, led a group of investigative journalists through the process of manipulating access to Telegram in an attempt to wreck havoc.
Hanan uses the alias Jorge while his team is known as “Team Jorge”.
The study exposes astounding details about how Team Jorge, which operates a private firm offering to discreetly interfere in elections without leaving a trace, weaponizes disinformation. Additionally, the team serves corporate clients.
Advanced Impact Media Solutions, sometimes known as Aims, is a complex software program that is one of Team Jorge’s core offerings. It is in charge of a sizable army of tens of thousands of fictitious accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Telegram, Gmail, Instagram, and YouTube.
A group of journalists from 30 publications, including Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El Pas, conducted the investigation on Team Jorge.
Hanan claims that they have used automated disinformation on social media, hacking, and sabotage to influence more than 30 elections globally.
Though the study claims that the hackers ran 33 presidential-level campaigns, 27 of which were successful, none of them were successful in Kenya.
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