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Chinese Hackers Use AI to Stir Discord, Microsoft Warns

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Microsoft says that hackers linked to Beijing are using artificial intelligence (AI) to worsen tensions in the United States and Taiwan. They’re making use of AI to create fake content and spread it online, especially before elections.

For instance, they made fake audio clips of a popular Taiwanese presidential candidate and shared them on social media to influence voters. Although platforms like YouTube removed the content quickly, it shows how governments can create fake information easily.

This is the first time Microsoft has seen a government use AI to interfere in another country’s election. The same group from China also created fake news anchors and videos to harass politicians in Canada last year.

Chinese hackers are using AI to inflame social tensions in US, Microsoft says

They spread this fake content through a network of over 175 websites in different languages. They often cover big news events, especially those that paint the US in a negative way.

For example, they made false claims that a US weapon caused wildfires in Hawaii or that Japan planned to dump nuclear waste in the Pacific Ocean. They even spread conspiracy theories about a train derailment in Kentucky.

Moreover, Microsoft found Chinese social media accounts pretending to be American voters. They posted fake videos, comments, and graphics to stir up issues like drug use, immigration, and racial tension.

According to Clint Watts from Microsoft, China is trying to divide US voters and influence the presidential election in its favor. However, there’s little evidence showing these efforts have been successful.

With important elections coming up in India, South Korea, and the US, China will likely continue creating and spreading fake content. They might even use AI more effectively in the future.

Google has also warned about China’s increasing use of AI-generated content to spread misinformation in the US.

North Korea is also using AI to enhance its cyberattacks. They focus on cryptocurrency firms and software supply chain attacks to fund their weapons program. Microsoft has observed North Korean hackers using AI tools to improve their operations.

Recently, Microsoft faced criticism for mishandling a Chinese cyberattack that gave access to the email accounts of senior US leaders. Even after a year, they’re unsure how the hackers gained access.

Source: Therecord