Microsoft warns that China will use AI to interfere in US elections

Microsoft China

Microsoft has warned about China's potential plans to interfere in the forthcoming US, South Korea, and India elections.

The tech giant's threat intelligence team anticipates that Chinese state-supported cyber groups and North Korean cyber actors will target these significant elections to a lesser extent.

"As populations in India, South Korea, and the US head to the polls, we are likely to see Chinese cyber and influence actors work toward targeting these elections," said Microsoft.

According to the tech giant, China plans to create and distribute AI-generated content on social media platforms to influence election outcomes.

Although the current impact of such content on public opinion is minimal, Microsoft warns of China's increasing experimentation with AI-enhanced memes, videos, and audio.

Microsoft believes these could become a powerful tool in upcoming high-profile elections.

The report highlighted China's attempt to influence the Taiwan presidential election in January, marking the first instance of a state-backed entity using AI-generated content to sway a foreign election. A Beijing-backed group known as Storm 1376 was active during the Taiwanese election, disseminating AI-generated memes and fake audio content to discredit certain candidate

The company's warning coincides with a recent review by a White House-appointed board, which found that Microsoft could have prevented Chinese hackers from infiltrating US government emails via its Microsoft Exchange Online software last year.

The US Cyber Safety Review Board described the incident a "cascade of security failures" by Microsoft.

In response to these breaches and other similar cybersecurity attacks, Microsoft is now striving to revamp its software security through its newly launched Secure Future Initiative (SFI).

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