Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russian cyberwarfare, including on social media, is one of his "greatest concerns." He said, "Frankly, the United States is under attack. Our enemies seek to sow division in the United States and weaken U.S. leadership." On February 13, the US intelligence agencies released their annual Worldwide Threat Assessment, warning that Russia will use social media "to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States." The report predicts those attacks are likely to target the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.


And why will Russians target the 2018 midterm elections? Why not? They successfully targeted the 2016 Presidential election -- as we now know:

Special counsel Robert Mueller indicts 13 Russians, alleging 2016 election interference
Los Angeles Times, Feb 16 2018 2:00 PM

Special counsel Robert Mueller III indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies Friday, accusing them of using stolen identities, fake campaign events and hundreds of social media accounts while spending millions of rubles to interfere in the 2016 presidential election in a secret effort to aid the Trump campaign.

The 37-page indictment, the first charges by Mueller's office accusing Moscow of illegal meddling in the election, says that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian firm known for using troll accounts to post on news sites, orchestrated the interference campaign and that its operatives tried to communicate with at least three unnamed Trump campaign officials using fake identities. "By early to mid-2016, Defendants' operation included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton," says the indictment.

Although the indictment alleges that the Russians contacted unnamed people in the Trump campaign, it does not allege that any Trump campaign officials knowingly cooperated with the effort. "There is no allegation that any American was a willing participant" in the Russian plan, and there is no allegation that it altered the outcome of the election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a brief news conference discussing the indictment.

Nonetheless, the indictment seriously undermines President Trump's repeated contention that the entire Russia investigation is a "hoax" or "witch hunt." It details specific activities the Russians took, initially focused on creating general discord in the U.S. but eventually focused specifically on boosting Trump's campaign. Some of the indicted people have previously been identified as having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment accuses the 13 Russians and three businesses of "impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016." Rosenstein said the Justice Department had not yet had contact with Russian officials about extraditing any of the accused.

Democrats said the indictment vindicated Mueller's investigation. "For all of those who have been asking 'where is the evidence of a crime? -- this is it. This is the criminal conspiracy," said Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. "This is what President Trump and his allies have repeatedly called a 'hoax' and 'fake news.' This is what they tried to cover up. This is what we might never have known if President Trump had been successful in shutting down this investigation."