Russian Gang Designs Propaganda Machine Using AI

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Published on: May 15, 2024
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross
Published on: May 15, 2024 Senior Writer

A Russian-linked cyber gang was found using an advanced AI model to transmit global propaganda.

The group created a fake influencer outlet titled CopyCat and filled it with fake and misleading articles being generated by an automated language learning model (LLM). The outlet first plagiarizes articles from legitimate news organizations and influencer outlets before injecting it with political propaganda.

For example, the outlet would misreport events in the Ukraine war to spread distrust and dissent amongst the countries allies. The outlet also published misleading content with strong anti-NATO and anti-western views

The automated propaganda machine has spit out over 19,000 articles as of March 24. After these articles are generated, a series of fake news outlets spread across the world will host them, though these fake sites are mostly concentrated in the US, the UK, and France.

Many of the articles in question are of pretty low quality. Researchers found multiple examples of plagiarized articles that still contained the prompt for the AI.

“Take a conservative stance against the liberal policies of the Macron administration in favor of working-class French citizens,” is left in an article that was lifted from a French news source.

However, while there are examples of obvious deceit, many articles are indistinguishable from regular posts. Not only that, but The outlet is beginning to deliver more advanced propaganda.

“In addition to plagiarized content, the network has started garnering significant engagement by posting targeted, human-produced content in recent weeks,”

Known Russian state-sponsored gangs like Doppelgänger and Portal Kombat diligently share and spread CopyCat’s articles. CopyCat then spreads propaganda from other Russian sources, such as Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Researchers consider it highly likely that the gang is very operated by the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, though there is no conclusive evidence yet.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer
Published on: May 15, 2024

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."

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