On today’s episode of the Security Stories podcast we discuss the history of online manipulation campaigns, and how they’re used today to try and influence political elections.

To do that, we welcome back Theresa Payton, the first female CIO of the White House and author of ‘Manipulated: Inside the Cyberwar to Hijack Elections and Distort the Truth’.

Also joining us is Nick Biasini. Nick is a threat researcher within Cisco Talos and recently published a paper called ‘The Building Blocks of political disinformation campaigns’. The paper is part of Talos’ hands on research into election security.

We chat about some of the things that shocked Theresa when she was doing her research into manipulation tactics. And Nick talks about the amplification methods that are being used to spread certain lies online. Plus, we talk about what can be done to curb these campaigns with only a few weeks to go until the United States general election.

This is a really fascinating discussion, and whilst it highlighted the huge challenges that we’re facing at the moment, Nick and Theresa shared a lot of great information on how we can overcome them.

Also in this episode, Ben Nahorney shares his latest research on current threat trends. This time we rank the Indicators of Compromise that organizations have encountered grouped by particular topics, including ransomware, credential stealing, and looking at the top operating system IoCs.

Episode time stamps

0.00 Intro
03:01  Discussion on disinformation campaigns with Nick Biasini and Theresa Payton
42:45  Threat trends with Ben Nahorney
52:09  Closing remarks

Play the episode

You can listen to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you normally get your podcasts from! You can also listen right here and now:

Further resources:

‘The Building Blocks of political disinformation campaigns’

Manipulated: Inside the Cyberwar to Hijack Elections and Distort the Truth’


Hazel Burton

Global Cybersecurity Product Marketing Manager, Thought Leadership

Cisco Secure