Home Tech China will use AI to disrupt elections in the US, South Korea and India, Microsoft warns

China will use AI to disrupt elections in the US, South Korea and India, Microsoft warns

0 comment
China will use AI to disrupt elections in the US, South Korea and India, Microsoft warns

China will try to disrupt elections in the US, South Korea and India this year with artificial intelligence-generated content after taking a test drive with Taiwan’s presidential election, Microsoft has warned.

The U.S. tech company said it expected Chinese state-backed cyber groups to target high-profile elections in 2024 that would also involve North Korea, according to a report from the company’s threat intelligence team published Friday.

“As populations in India, South Korea and the United States head to the polls, we are likely to see Chinese cyber and influence actors, and to some extent North Korean cyber actors, working to target these elections,” it said report.

Microsoft said China will “at a minimum” create and distribute AI-generated content on social media that “will benefit their standing in this high-profile election.”

The company added that the impact of AI-created content was small, but warned that this could change.

“While the impact of such content on the influencing audience remains low, China’s increasing experimentation with expanding memes, videos and audio will continue – and may prove effective in the future,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft said in the report that China had already attempted an AI-generated disinformation campaign during Taiwan’s presidential election in January. The company said this was the first time it had seen a state-backed entity use AI-created content in an attempt to influence foreign elections.

A Beijing-backed group called Storm 1376, also known as Spamouflage or Dragonbridge, was very active during the Taiwanese elections. Efforts to influence the election included posting fake audio on YouTube of election candidate Terry Gou – who withdrew in November – endorsing another candidate. Microsoft said the clip was “likely AI-generated.” YouTube removed the content before it reached many users.

The Beijing-backed group published a series of AI-generated memes about the ultimately successful candidate, William Lai – a pro-sovereignty candidate opposed by Beijing – making baseless claims against Lai and accusing him of embezzling state funds. There was also an increasing use of AI-generated TV news presenters, a tactic also used by Iran, with the ‘anchor’ making unsubstantiated claims about Lai’s private life, including fathering illegitimate children.

Microsoft said the news anchors were created by the CapCut tool, which was developed by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok’s owner.

Microsoft added that Chinese groups continue to mount influence campaigns in the US. It said Beijing-backed actors are using social media accounts to ask “divisive questions” and try to understand the issues that divide American voters.

“This could be to gather information and precision about key demographics leading up to the US presidential election,” Microsoft said in a blog post accompanying the report.

One post on It was asked: “What is your reaction?” Another reported last year on the loss of an F-35 fighter jet in South Carolina, saying that “only under the Biden administration” could a valuable piece of military equipment be lost — though debris was found shortly afterwards — and asking “what do you think about this? ?”

The report was published the same week that a White House-appointed official review board said “a cascade of failures” by Microsoft allowed state-backed Chinese cyber operators to break into email accounts of senior US officials. Last month, the US and British governments accused China-backed hackers of waging a years-long cyber campaign against politicians, journalists and companies, as well as Britain’s election watchdog.

You may also like