Russian operatives can easily 'hide' attacks on Facebook despite new rules, ex-NSC cybersecurity official warns
R. David Edelmen, an MIT cybersecurity expert and former NSC member, speaking with MSNBC's Ali Velshi (image via screengrab).

Facebook may have toughened their political advertising rules after they discovered that a Russian group spent $100,000 on ads meant to influence the American presidential election, but one cybersecurity expert told MSNBC's Ali Velshi that it would take little savvy to get around those restrictions.


According to R. David Edelman, a former National Security Council cybersecurity director who spoke with Velshi during a Friday segment about the Russian Facebook ad buy, the company's self-imposed regulations wouldn't foil determined hackers.

"It's clear Facebook decided they need to hand over this information to start the ball rolling," Edelman said of the company's compliance with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Congress in their investigations into the Russian ad buys.

Nonetheless, their efforts are "baby steps," he said. While users can see the "original pages sponsoring" political ads, "that's only gonna get you so far."

"If I'm a Russian agent, it's not very hard to hide behind a different page," Edelman told Velshi. "It's not very hard to have multiple pages created."

While founder Mark Zuckerberg made "a smart political move" in complying with investigators, Edelmen concluded, these new rules have also raised "deep questions asked about Facebook's underlying business model."

Watch Edelman explain the weaknesses behind Facebook's "tougher" rules below, via MSNBC.