Chinese hackers use AI-created images to spread misinformation ahead of the 2024 US election

Microsoft researchers discovered a new cyberattack from China (AP Photo/Andy Wong) (Andy Wong/)

After the 2016 elections, the United States authorities repeatedly denounced that the electoral process suffered an infiltration by Russia. Since then, this practice has spread to other parts of the world, setting off alarm bells in the West. But the focus is not solely on Moscow. China is another of the powers that in recent years has perpetrated cyber attacks, mainly against Washington. Apparently, Efforts to spread disinformation ahead of next year’s US elections have already begun.

As warned by analysts from the North American technology giant Microsoft, Suspected Chinese hackers used images created by artificial intelligence to reach American voters and spark debates on political issues that divide society.

The investigation reveals that it is a network of fake accounts associated with the Communist Party of China (CPC). The strategy consists of using “western” social networks to spread the images generated by artificial intelligence.

Some images show the Statue of Liberty and others refer to movement Black Lives Matter. According to Microsoft, the campaign is intended to “denigrate American political figures and symbols.”

“We can expect China to continue to refine this technology over time and improve its accuracy, although how and when it will deploy it on a large scale remains to be seen,” he warned in a blog post. Clint WattsCEO of the Microsoft Digital Threat Analysis Center.

Researchers at the tech giant revealed that the AI-created images “have attracted a higher level of engagement from authentic social media users” compared to previous posts. The company, however, did not provide specific metrics.

The investigative report indicates that this campaign presents similar characteristics with the activity that the North American Department of Justice attributed to “an elite group within the Ministry of Public Security (of China).”

The Chinese regime, for its part, denied Microsoft’s allegations. “Such comments are full of prejudice and malicious speculation against China, which China strongly opposes,” he told the network. CNN liu pengyuspokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

This alleged attack against US stability and democracy occurs amid repeated complaints by the United States of attacks of this type perpetrated by the regime of Xi Jinping.

Xi Jinping, head of the Chinese regime, in front of a computer.  Meta dismantled a Chinese network that was trying to influence millions of people on social networks (Illustrative image Infobae)
Xi Jinping, head of the Chinese regime, in front of a computer. Meta dismantled a Chinese network that was trying to influence millions of people on social networks (Illustrative image Infobae)

Last month Meta, the parent company of Facebook, reported the Takedown of the Largest “Cross-Platform Covert Influence Operation” Ever Seen. As reported by the company, thousands of China-based social media accounts were targeting users from the United States, Taiwan and other countries. Meta researchers indicated that the uncovered activities were “associated with Chinese security forces.”

Last July Washington discovered that Chinese cyberspies accessed the email of the United States government through the Microsoft cloud.

The group of hackers, which Microsoft named Storm-0558, forged digital authentication “tokens” to access web email accounts that were powered by the company’s Outlook service, Microsoft explained in a statement posted on its website. .

For their part, investigators from the security company Mandiant also reported in July that agents affiliated with Beijing paid US citizens to mobilize in protest of racial inequality and the ban imposed by the US government on products manufactured in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

Against this backdrop of growing concern, the US House Oversight Committee announced last month the opening of an investigation into China’s alleged involvement in recent breaches of the email systems of the Departments of Commerce and State.

News last month that Chinese hackers hacked into the emails of high-ranking officials at the State and Commerce Departments caused uproar amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over a range of issues, from trade to Taiwan.

The full scope of the leak, which affected at least two dozen other organizations, is unclear. He Wall Street Journal reported last month that hackers also accessed the email account of the US ambassador to China, as well as that of Daniel KritenbrinkUnder Secretary of State for East Asia.

According to him journalin total hundreds of thousands of emails were stolen.