Russia develops an AI Cyber Threat Tool to put a jolt in US democracy

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Amidst growing concerns over cyber warfare, reports have surfaced regarding Russia’s advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) for spreading misinformation. Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia has allegedly developed sophisticated AI-based cyber tools aimed at manipulating news narratives, with potential implications for the upcoming US elections in November 2024.

The revelation first came from Ukraine, a nation embroiled in conflict with Russia for the past two years. In an official statement issued yesterday, Ukrainian authorities raised alarm about Russia’s utilization of AI tools to disseminate disinformation. Groups like APT28, also known as Cozy Bear, are purportedly backing Russia’s efforts, pushing the world towards the brink of a potential third world war.

Initially employed to sow discord among the Ukrainian populace by fabricating news regarding conflicts with Russian forces, these AI-driven disinformation campaigns have now shifted focus as the American elections loom closer. Allegedly, Russia has invested a staggering $1.5 billion into a data repository dedicated solely to amplifying fake news through AI technologies, posing a threat far graver than currently anticipated.

The overarching objective appears twofold: to undermine Western support for Ukraine’s leadership under President Zelensky, and to influence the outcome of the 2024 election in the United States, favoring candidates sympathetic to Kremlin interests.

Notably, the landscape of the upcoming US elections remains uncertain, with both the Democratic and Republican parties yet to announce their respective nominees.

Meanwhile, in response to these developments, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have issued a joint statement highlighting Russian intelligence’s exploitation of compromised routers. This tactic involves the harvesting of credentials to facilitate proxy web traffic, as well as the collection and sale of sensitive data such as cookies and digests. Targets reportedly include academic and research institutions, political entities, defense contractors, and even private individuals.

Among the affected entities, Linux-based Ubiquiti Edge Router stands out as a victim of these sophisticated cyber attacks, signaling a concerning trend likely to impact more businesses in the future.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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