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posted by hubie on Monday March 20 2023, @08:26AM   Printer-friendly

Organizations must educate themselves and their users on how to detect, disrupt, and defend against the increasing volume of online disinformation:

More and more, nation-states are leveraging sophisticated cyber influence campaigns and digital propaganda to sway public opinion. Their goal? To decrease trust, increase polarization, and undermine democracies around the world.

In particular, synthetic media is becoming more commonplace thanks to an increase in tools that easily create and disseminate realistic artificial images, videos, and audio. This technology is advancing so quickly that soon anyone will be able to create a synthetic video of anyone saying or doing anything the creator wants. According to Sentinel, there was a 900% year-over-year increase in the proliferation of deepfakes in 2020.

It's up to organizations to protect against these cyber influence operations. But strategies are available for organizations to detect, disrupt, deter, and defend against online propaganda. Read on to learn more.

[...] As technology advances, tools that have traditionally been used in cyberattacks are now being applied to cyber influence operations. Nation-states have also begun collaborating to amplify each other's fake content.

These trends point to a need for greater consumer education on how to accurately identify foreign influence operations and avoid engaging with them. We believe the best way to promote this education is to increase collaboration between the federal government, the private sector, and end users in business and personal contexts.

There are four key ways to ensure the effectiveness of such training and education. First, we must be able to detect foreign cyber influence operations. No individual organization will be able to do this on its own. Instead, we will need the support of academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and other entities to better analyze and report on cyber influence operations.

Next, defenses must be strengthened to account for the challenges and opportunities that technology has created for the world's democracies — especially when it comes to the disruption of independent journalism, local news, and information accuracy.

Another element in combating this widespread deception is radical transparency. We recommend increasing both the volume and dissemination of geopolitical analysis, reporting, and threat intelligence to better inform effective responses and protection.

Finally, there have to be consequences when nation-states violate international rules. While it often falls on state, local, and federal governments to enforce these penalties, multistakeholder action can be leveraged to strengthen and extend international norms. For example, Microsoft recently signed onto the European Commission's Code of Practice on Disinformation along with more than 30 online businesses to collectively tackle this growing challenge. Governments can build on these norms and laws to advance accountability.

Ultimately, threat actors are only going to continue getting better at evading detection and influencing public opinion. The latest nation-state threats and emerging trends show that threat actors will keep evolving their tactics. However, there are things organizations can do to improve their defenses. We just need to create holistic policies that public and private entities alike can use to combat digital propaganda and protect our collective operations against false narratives.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Opportunist on Monday March 20 2023, @11:08AM (7 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Monday March 20 2023, @11:08AM (#1297148)

    It's that simple.

    Unfortunately, it's not. It's very easy to "crowdsource" lying. And the past couple years certainly showcased this perfectly.

    1. Define, preferably very vaguely, a powerful enemy group. "THEY" work great. Make sure you keep it completely open who "THEY" are. THEY just have to be powerful enough that your dupes will believe that THEY not only want to but also can control information.
    2. Create an "us vs. them" atmosphere by pushing the narrative that THEY want to do things that is to your patsies detriment. This is easier than it may think, because if there's one thing we don't have any shortage of, it's people thinking that they don't get treated "fairly", even if they have everything. Seriously, people envy people who have nothing the dirt on their feet.
    3. Give your dupes the feeling that you take their problems serious and that only you will understand what they need, and that THEY of course don't care about them and only want to use them. Just tell them that THEY will do what you have in mind and you have a pretty good idea what to tell them.
    4. Now you can establish all sorts of narratives, and your target audience will believe and propagate it for you. Proof isn't required, don't worry, nobody will ask you to show that what you claim has anything to do with reality, because we already have established that THEY control the narrative and thus anything that would contradict you is a lie, propagated by THEM.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @01:35PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @01:35PM (#1297163)

    This sounds old.

    The new way is just chaotic mush. Lies, truth, mistakes, jokes all blended into a giant stream of consciousness. Say the opposite of what you mean, then say you didn't say it, then contradict it, then debate whether you contradicted it, then say it's up to the people to decide. It's basically reality television designed to eke out the maximum human drama for the lowest budget.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 20 2023, @02:15PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2023, @02:15PM (#1297171) Journal

      The new way is just chaotic mush.

      Which weakens it greatly.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @06:15PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @06:15PM (#1297227)

        It debases the whole process. It's bad faith argumentation: "He pulls down shutters, blinds, mirrors and mirages over his consciousness to keep himself in his bad faith away from his responsibilities and his liberty". Do you need more Satre [wikipedia.org] or is that enough for now?

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 21 2023, @02:57AM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2023, @02:57AM (#1297327) Journal

          It debases the whole process.

          Which is a good thing. Instead of a fairly monolithic belief system which can be exploited, you get a bunch of idiots with random beliefs that often conflict with each other.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @07:22PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @07:22PM (#1297444)

            Yes there's a grain of truth in that. As someone clever* once said, truth is robust. It survives these kinds of assaults because it's true regardless of whether you like it or not. No argument about that - so in effect what you are saying is Trump and the MAGA clowns are in fact playing 3D chess to strengthen democracy. Orwell would love this shit.

            *Terence McKenna

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 21 2023, @08:49PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2023, @08:49PM (#1297463) Journal

              Trump and the MAGA clowns are in fact playing 3D chess to strengthen democracy

              Keep in mind that just because you play 3D chess, doesn't make you a 3D grandmaster.

              Orwell would love this shit.

              Looks to me like Orwell was a journalist for about half his life. So yes, he probably would. And given some of the zany stuff that happened to him - such as being in a minor war between Communist factions during the Spanish Civil War (his faction wasn't sufficiently beholden to Uncle Joe - and I'm not talking Joe Biden), he'd probably understand this well.

    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday March 20 2023, @08:31PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Monday March 20 2023, @08:31PM (#1297265)

      That's for when you already established enough of a lie that it carries itself, so you can distance yourself from it and pretend you didn't say it while at the same time telling your patsies that they're right to believe it.

      That's the advanced version for politicians.