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The Weaponization Of File Sharing Platforms

Widely perceived as a significant threat to liberal democracies, disinformation campaigns are believed to have impacted multiple election results and other societal changes in the past few years. Also known as information operations, these are organized attempts at influencing public opinion and action on topics ranging from health to politics, through coordinated attacks (inauthentic behaviors), which spread false information, or fake news.

In order to appear genuine, information operations must disseminate the same narrative across platforms, a task which requires a centralized place to generate, store and spread content. File sharing platforms that offer a free or cheap way to easily store and share content, are an ideal solution for this. In this report, ActiveFence features four case studies of such misuse, each with unique tactics, and different ways of using file sharing platforms in their operations.