With less than two weeks to go until the midterm elections, a U.S. military unit is working to deter possible Russian interference.
Unnamed defense officials told The Washington Post that U.S. Cyber Command is letting Russian operatives know that the U.S. is watching them.
It's not clear how many Russians are being targeted, but Cyber Command is reportedly communicating its warnings via digital alerts like pop-ups or emails. The Post's sources said the U.S. is being very careful not to explicitly threaten the operatives in an effort to avoid an escalation on Russia's end.
The New York Times called the campaign the "first known overseas cyberoperation to protect American elections."
News about Cyber Command's efforts come after U.S. national security agencies warned Friday that Russia, China and other countries are using social media and English-language outlets to spread disinformation about political candidates and influence voter decisions in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.
That same day the Justice Department revealed it charged a Russian woman with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. for trying to meddle in the upcoming midterm elections.
Former U.S. officials told the Times that Russian actors might be deterred from meddling this time around because they're worried the American government could similarly indict or impose sanctions on them.