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Homeland Security prepared for Russian interference in 2020 Census

July 5, 2020

Homeland Security prepared for Russian cyber attacks on the 2020 US census. Documents show that the US government believes Russia is continuing their interference in American politics, and the 2020 census is a target for both hacking attacks and influence operations.

News of Russia’s continuing interference has been widely covered in the mainstream media. But, attacks on the US census, and the apparent vulnerability of this system, have been covered much less. Leaked documents suggest that nation states like Russia could be actively trying to penetrate census data servers to tamper with the stored information. The documents also shed light on how Russia may use social media campaigns in conjunction with other attacks.

All of the documents cited in this report are from Homeland Security. The first report states that it believes Russia will continue operations directed at the United States, and continue to diversify its techniques. These measures appear to be continuing despite increasing public awareness, and US sanctions on Russia.

The second document highlights Russia’s growing capabilities in regards to social media and artificial intelligence. It appears Homeland Security feared that Russia would use artificial intelligence to create divisive memes, and use them to push disinformation and possibly conspiracy theories.

We judge Russian influence actors likely leverage AI to automate the creation and distribution of socially divisive memes on social media. We base this judgment on a review of Russia’s intent, capability, and opportunity to engage in this activity.


The report also mentions the Russian meme-generator GagBot, and fears it may be used for nefarious purposes.

The third report shows that Homeland Security feared Russia was improving its capabilities with spear-phishing attacks, and outlines how they think these were conducted. Spear-phishing is when a hacker sends the user to a fake login page to steal credentials.

The fourth report is curious, as it doesn’t mention Russia specifically. However, it states that suspected state sponsored actors have attempted to hack into US census servers almost 400,000 times in 1 year,

Unidentified cyber actors between May 2019 and April 2020 made more than 398,000 attempts to access Census Bureau networks, employing structured query language (SQL) injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), hypertext preprocessor (PHP), phishing attempts, and other malicious cyber operations


This shows that the US census is a hot target for foreign hackers, and should be closely protected by the authorities.

The fifth document goes into detail about how the Russians might use social media to discredit or disrupt the 2020 US Census using disinformation.

Russia operates a vast covert malign influence apparatus that uses social media personas, bots, and proxies—sometimes in conjunction with state-run and seemingly authentic covert media outlets—to advance Kremlin-friendly narratives, shape electoral dynamics, sow division, and undermine US democratic processes


This report adds water to the notion Russian interference in the US is real, and not just some public talking point. If Russian interference was fake, why would it be mentioned in these internal, non-public reports? What good would that serve if it was a hoax?

After multiple leaks, confessions, whistleblower statements, and undercover surveillance operations, it is a fact that Russia has been launching influence operations targeting Western Countries. The scope and tactics of those operations are up for debate, but it’s clear that something is going on, and it’s happening under the Kremlin’s watch.

Article by: Mark Slapinski

Disclaimer: Access to these files is for educational purposes only. These files were originally made public by Anonymous at and have since copied to sites like and shared on every social media channel including Reddit and Twitter by users worldwide.

  1. Homeland Security, Intelligence Assessment
    September 12, 2019
    Google Drive - View or Download
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  2. Homeland Security, Intelligence Assessment
    August 2, 2019
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  3. Homeland Security, Intelligence Assessment
    July 15, 2020
    Google Drive - View or Download
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  4. Homeland Security, Intelligence Assessment
    May 26, 2020
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  5. Homeland Security, Intelligence Assessment
    April 22, 2020
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