Network Security, Critical Infrastructure Security, Threat Intelligence

US election-targeted influence operations by Russia ramp up

Magnifying glass found the Russia map among computer binary code

Reuters reports that mounting Russian online influence campaigns have been deployed to target the upcoming U.S. presidential polls during the past month and a half, with malicious activity expected to further escalate in the coming months.

Several influence campaigns regarding Ukraine have ramped up during the last two months, with the most prolific associated with Russia's Presidential Administration, a report from the Microsoft Threat Analysis Center revealed. Intrusions by Russian threat operation Star Blizzard, also known as Cold River, against U.S. political figures have also significantly increased as the country prepares to exert influence in the November elections, according to researchers.

However, despite growing concerns regarding the usage of advanced artificial intelligence in influence campaigns, Russian threat actors have been leveraging digital forgeries more than deepfakes, with researchers noting that generative AI-based content spread by nation-states has yet to achieve as significant reach on social media.

"The simplest manipulations, not the most complex employment of AI, will likely be the pieces of content that have the most impact," researchers added.

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