US DOJ Disrupts Russian AI-Enhanced Social Media Operation Spreading Pro-Russia Messages

By Madz Dizon

Jul 10, 2024 03:35 AM EDT

US DOJ Disrupts Russian AI-Enhanced Social Media Operation Spreading Pro-Russia Messages
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will end the advance payments program to providers affected by a cyberattack on UnitedHealth's Change Healthcare.
(Photo : Cliff Hang from Pixabay)

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has uncovered a covert Russian operation involving the use of fake social media accounts powered by artificial intelligence.

These accounts were employed to discreetly disseminate pro-Kremlin messages both within the US and internationally, according to the DOJ.

Russian Operation Using AI-Driven Fake Social Media Accounts 

On Tuesday, July 9, there was an important development in the news, happening just four months before the US presidential election. Security experts have expressed concerns that foreign adversaries may attempt hacking and covert social media influence to impact the election.

Senior US officials have publicly acknowledged their vigilance in monitoring potential disruptions to the vote.

A court has granted approval for the Department of Justice to seize two domain names and conduct searches on approximately 1,000 social media accounts that are believed to be linked to the mentioned effort.

According to officials from the DOJ and FBI, Tuesday's events were significant as they marked the first public accusation by the US against a foreign government for employing generative AI in a foreign influence operation.

US officials have issued a warning about the potential misuse of AI systems by adversaries to amplify the spread of misinformation.

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FSB Accessed AI-Driven Network to Promote Russian Objectives 

According to the DOJ, the Russian intelligence service, known as the FSB, also had access to the network. There were instances of fraudulent accounts on the network that pretended to be Americans and shared content that aligned with Russian political objectives.

During its limited operation on X, a cybersecurity advisory released by intelligence agencies from the US, Netherlands, and Canada revealed that the Russians had plans to extend their activities to additional social media platforms.

According to The Hill, the cybersecurity advisory urges social media platforms to enhance their efforts in monitoring and detecting bot networks, while remaining alert to the activities of foreign intelligence operations. Additionally, the advisory offers detailed technical information about the network in question.

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