ANI Photo | China used AI-generated news anchors to propagandize political content on social media: Report

China has used artificial intelligence-generated news anchors to propagandize political content on social media, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.
According to the US-based research firm Graphika’s report titled ‘Deepfake It Till You Make It’, China has since late 2022 used Spamouflage, a state-aligned influence operation to promote China’s global role and spread disinformation against the United States, the RFA reported.
A combination of Spam and Camouflage, Spamouflage, is a tactic used by spammers to evade email spam filters by replacing certain letters with numbers. Cyber security researchers use the term, as well as other terms such as Dragon bridge or Spamouflage Dragon, to refer to the pro-Chinese propaganda network on the internet.
According to RFA, Spamouflage is responsible for posting, via fake accounts targeting social media users, thousands of assets that praise China, criticize the United States, and attack the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement as well as Taiwan’s independence.
Spamouflage has recently been promoting a new and distinctive form of video content on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to Graphika.

The firm’s researchers spotted and analyzed two “unique” videos featuring a male and a female anchor, both speaking English and appearing to be Caucasian. The videos used the logo of a “likely fictitious media company” called ‘Wolf News’ with the accompanying slogan “Focus on hot spots and broadcast in real-time.”
In one video, the male anchor is heard criticising the US government for its “hypocritical repetition of empty rhetoric” in tackling gun violence. In the other video, the female anchor is seen talking about the importance of China-US cooperation for global economic recovery.
Both videos mirrored “past Spamouflage efforts to pass as legitimate news outlets,” said the Graphika report. The abundant similarities spotted in the videos and other Spamouflage assets on the internet led to the conclusion about the connection between the two, according to RFA.
China is, however, yet to respond to the Graphika report which points to the alarming potential misuse of sophisticated AI technology in disinformation campaigns by Chinese state actors.
China has been orchestrating cyber attacks on both allies and competitors, the Indo-Pacific Centre for Strategic Communications (IPCSC) recently reported, adding that the countries affected include Russia, the US, Iran, and its latest target, South Korea.
According to the report, there are growing concerns about which countries will be targeted next. Further, according to the report, a Chinese hacking group had launched a cyberattack on 12 Korean academic institutions.
Citing the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA), the report said the attacked institutes included Korea Research Institute for Construction Policy, some departments of Jeju University, and the Korea National University of Education. The affected websites remained inaccessible for four days. (ANI)

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