It should first be stated that misinformation and published propaganda isn’t new. In the past those that wanted to spread what is now called “fake news” made use of the methods of the time: publications and radio. Laws in some countries made it difficult to extend false stories in the news media, but this completely changed with the advent of the internet and social media popularity. This form of propaganda seeps into every aspect of personal and business life, and can directly affect decisions and choices.
Misinformation includes outright lies, whereas disinformation are lies that have a small kernel of truth as a basis. In the past, people relied on credible news sources that were required to only tell the truth and to identify anything that was incorrect. Today’s news is scrambled in a number of pathways and there are many that try to act like credible sources but simply pass on propaganda mixed with a bit of pertinent real news. With only a few exceptions, every country around the world has been plagued with the abundance of misinformation and social media platforms have been slow to offer anything that resembles clarification of what is made up and what is real.
AI bots will take misinformation and begin spreading it across the internet. Within seconds they will dissipate thousands of versions across all of the various platforms. The stories that are tapped usually include those that require that the reader “click” to read more. Cyber criminals will have placed a variety of malware or viruses that are either embedded in the storyline or on a website. This action places the computer at risk for a cyberattack and it is doubly worse if it is on that is connected to a business network.
Some may associate misinformation with political topics, however the success of these campaigns has expanded into areas that affect government policy decisions and businesses. The constant barrage of lies that are being camouflaged as real news is being spread by a number of countries. While there have been some laws passed in a few countries, there have not streamlined the methods to enforce them.
There have been quite a few AI blast misinformation campaigns directed specifically at companies and/or their products. Within a few hours, the business reputation can be all but destroyed. Many companies are aware of this newer threat and are hiring Chief Disinformation Officers as part of their IT and cybersecurity teams. What this means is that businesses are now required to have professionals that track and monitor everything on the net that relates to their profile and take the offensive to stop misinformation before it has had the time to get out of control.
The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed a weakening of just about every security avenue in both business and government. Cybercriminals have taken full advantage of this condition so that push the pandemic topic as the latest allure. Using fear and anxiety as a baseline, the criminals have made use of AI bots to spread misinformation about everything from fake so-called “cures” to hate-filled manifestos blaming various countries and cultures.
“The goal of such drastic spread of misinformation is designed to divide and encourage additional fear, hate, and damage. Misinformation has affected just about all countries in one way or another. DaVinci Forensics continues to assist businesses and their staff to identify the methods of misinformation cyberattacks and the ways that they can protect their companies and try to dispel the fear and anger.”