US Government Disrupts Russian Disinformation Bot Farm

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The US government uncovered a Russian disinformation scheme that utilized AI-driven bots to generate fake social media profiles on X, as per officials’ statement on Tuesday.

According to court documents unveiled by the Department of Justice, an editor at a Russian state media outlet devised software to establish a bot farm funded by a member of the Federal Security Service (FSB). From June to December, nearly 1,000 fake accounts were part of a campaign posing as Americans and propagating pro-Russian government propaganda.

One profile, pretending to be a user in Minneapolis, Minnesota, posted a video alleging that parts of Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania were annexed by Russia post-World War II. Another profile, under the name Sue Williamson from Gresham, Oregon, shared a video disputing the presence of foreign fighters with Ukrainian troops.

X took voluntary action to suspend the bot accounts flagged for violating its terms of service, as confirmed by the Justice Department. There has been no response from X regarding the issue.

The individual organizing the bot farm previously served as the deputy editor-in-chief at RT, a Russian government-funded media agency, the affidavit in the government filings revealed. The documents did not disclose the identity of this individual. Moreover, RT did not respond to requests for comments.

The person involved in the bot farm venture continues to work at RT and has overseen a digital media department since 2023. Reportedly, the software for the bot farm was created within this department. The project was endorsed and financed by a Russian intelligence officer, as outlined in the affidavit.

Members of the bot farm executed international fund transfers to purchase two domain names from a US-based company, facilitating the establishment of private email servers. These email addresses were used to set up at least 968 fictitious social media profiles, as per the US government.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that Russia aimed to leverage this bot farm for disseminating AI-generated foreign disinformation. The intention was to escalate the dissemination of false information using AI to undermine Ukraine and influence geopolitical narratives aligning with the Russian government’s agenda.

Furthermore, the FBI, along with partners like the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, the Netherlands General Intelligence and Security Service, and the Netherlands Police, released a collaborative cybersecurity advisory outlining the technology behind the social media bot farm.

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Advait Gupta
Advait Gupta
Advait is our expert writer and manager for the Artificial Intelligence category. His passion for AI research and its advancements drives him to deliver in-depth articles that explore the frontiers of this rapidly evolving field. Advait's articles delve into the latest breakthroughs, trends, and ethical considerations, keeping readers at the forefront of AI knowledge.

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