Friday, July 19, 2024

US thwarts Russian government-backed misinformation campaign driven by AI technology

Russian Propaganda Campaign Disrupted by Justice Department, Nearly 1,000 Social Media Accounts Seized

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that a Russian internet propaganda campaign backed by the Kremlin has been disrupted, with the seizure of nearly 1,000 fake social media accounts. The operation aimed to spread disinformation in the United States using artificial intelligence to sow discord and advance the aims of the Russian government.

According to officials, the scheme was organized by a senior editor at RT, a Russian-state funded media organization, with the support and financial approval of the Kremlin. An officer of Russia’s Federal Security Service led a private intelligence organization that promoted disinformation through social media.

FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that this disruption represents a first in disrupting a Russian-sponsored Generative AI-enhanced social media bot farm. The fake posts included a video claiming that areas of Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania were “gifts” from liberating Russian forces during World War II.

As part of the disruption, the Justice Department seized two domain names and 968 accounts on X, the social media platform. The FBI worked with the Cyber National Mission Force, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, and law enforcement in the Netherlands on a joint cybersecurity advisory about the social media bot farm.

This operation comes amid concerns about the potential for AI technology to impact American elections and foreign influence campaigns shaping public opinion. The ongoing efforts aim to combat such campaigns and protect democratic processes from manipulation.

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