Russia’s AI-Powered Disinformation Operation Targeting Ukraine, US, and Germany

Russia's AI-Powered Disinformation Operation Targeting Ukraine, US, and Germany

December 5, 2023 at 10:07AM

The Doppelganger operation, linked to Russia, uses fake websites and social media to spread disinformation and manipulate opinion in Ukraine, the U.S., and Germany. It employs advanced obfuscation and AI to create counterfeit articles, with recent campaigns targeting political issues in the U.S. and Europe. Meta disrupts similar influence operations.

Meeting Takeaways: December 5, 2023 – Newsroom on Brandjacking / Artificial Intelligence

1. Doppelganger Influence Campaign:
– A Russia-linked influence operation named Doppelganger targets audiences in Ukraine, the U.S., and Germany.
– Its goal is to undermine Ukrainian support, spread anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, question U.S. military competence, and highlight Germany’s economic and social issues.
– It’s described by Meta as the “largest and the most aggressively-persistent Russian-origin operation.”

2. Tactics and Tools:
– Doppelganger uses brandjacking, involving inauthentic news sites and social media accounts, to spread propaganda.
– Employing advanced obfuscation techniques like social media thumbnail manipulation, website redirects to evade detection and could be using generative AI for creating fake news articles.

3. Campaign Specifics:
– The operation targeting Ukraine involves over 800 social media accounts and uses domains for obfuscation, as well as the Keitaro Traffic Distribution System to measure campaign effectiveness.
– Fake media outlets such as Election Watch, MyPride, Warfare Insider, Besuchszweck, Grenzezank, and HaĆ¼yne Scherben are part of the U.S. and German campaign efforts.

4. Meta’s Observations and Actions:
– Meta’s report highlights Doppelganger’s focus on shifting public opinion and behavior over time.
– A new cluster of websites focusing on U.S. and European political affairs was discovered, manipulating content to question U.S. democracy and promote conspiracy theories.
– Meta disrupted three covert influence operations from China and Russia, including the spread of content related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
– The U.S. federal government’s proactive threat sharing related to foreign election interference has been paused since July 2023.

5. Reporting Updates:
– The public is encouraged to follow the publication on Twitter and LinkedIn for more exclusive content and updates on the matter.

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