Connect with us


US disrupts Russian government-backed AI disinformation campaign



US disrupts Russian government-backed AI disinformation campaign

A Russian internet propaganda campaign backed by the Kremlin that spread disinformation in the United States and relied on artificial intelligence has been disrupted, the Justice Department said on Tuesday in announcing the seizure of nearly 1,000 bogus social media accounts.

Officials described the operation as part of a continuing effort to sow discord in the US through the creation of fictitious social media profiles that purported to belong to legitimate users but were actually designed to advance the aims of the Russian government, including by covertly spreading pro-Kremlin messages in the United States and abroad.

US officials said the scheme was organised in 2022 by a senior editor at RT, a Russian-state funded media organisation that has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent.

It received the support and financial approval of the Kremlin, with an officer of Russia’s Federal Security Service – or FSB – leading a private intelligence organisation that promoted disinformation through social media.

An email to RT was not immediately returned on Tuesday.

FBI Director Christopher Wray. Photo: Abaca Press / TNS

The disruption of the so-called social media bot farm comes as US officials have raised alarms about the potential for AI technology to impact American elections.

It also comes amid growing concerns that foreign influence campaigns by adversaries could shape the opinions of unsuspecting voters, such as an elaborate plot by Russians to disrupt the 2016 presidential election through a huge but hidden social media trolling campaign aimed, in part, at helping Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“Today’s actions represent a first in disrupting a Russian-sponsored Generative AI-enhanced social media bot farm,” Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

“Russia intended to use this bot farm to disseminate AI-generated foreign disinformation, scaling their work with the assistance of AI to undermine our partners in Ukraine and influence geopolitical narratives favourable to the Russian government.”

Among the fake posts, according to the Justice Department, was a video that was posted by a purported Minneapolis, Minnesota resident that showed Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that areas of Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania were “gifts” to those countries from liberating Russian forces during the second world war.


Russia mourns victims of ‘terrorist attacks’ that killed at least 20 people in Dagestan republic

Russia mourns victims of ‘terrorist attacks’ that killed at least 20 people in Dagestan republic

As part of the disruption, the Justice Department seized two domain names and 968 accounts on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
The FBI and the Cyber National Mission Force also worked with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and police in the Netherlands on a joint cybersecurity advisory about the social media bot farm.
The news comes four months before the US presidential election, which security experts widely believe will be the target of both hacking and covert social media influence attempts by foreign adversaries.

Senior US officials have said publicly they are monitoring for schemes intended to disrupt the vote.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Continue Reading