Trends in cyber influence operations
Operations are becoming increasingly sophisticated as technology evolves. We are seeing tools used in traditional cyberattacks being applied to cyber influence operations alongside increased coordination and amplification among nation states. Foreign cyber influence operations typically have three stages: pre-position, launch and amplification.
Illustration of how narratives about US biolabs and biological weapons spread via the three broad phases of many foreign influence operations—pre-position, launch, and amplification.1
Influence operations: COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Learn about cyber influence operations used in nation state campaigns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine democratic institutions, and in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to maximize impact.
Tracking the Russian Propaganda Index
The Russian Propaganda Index (RPI) monitors the flow of news from Russian state-controlled and sponsored news outlets and amplifiers as a proportion of overall news traffic on the internet. The RPI can be used to chart the consumption of Russian propaganda across the internet and in different geographies on a precise timeline.
Two key trends are the proliferation of easy-to-use tools for artificially creating highly realistic images and videos, and quick dissemination of content optimized for specific audiences.
Microsoft’s holistic approach
Microsoft has increased technical capacity to detect and disrupt foreign influence operations and is committed to transparently reporting on these operations like our reporting on cyberattacks.
Explore other critical focus areas
The State of Cybercrime
Cybercrime continues to rise, driven by increases in both random and targeted attacks. Attack methods have evolved to create increasingly diverse threats.
Nation State Threats
Nation state actors are launching increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks to evade detection and further their strategic priorities.
Devices and Infrastructure
As organizations harness advances in computing capability and entities digitize to thrive, the attack surface of the digital world is exponentially increasing.
As threats in the cyber landscape increase, building cyber resilience into the fabric of the organization is as crucial as financial and operational resilience.
-  Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova: https://tass.com/politics/1401777; Lavrov photo credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool/AFP/Getty Images - https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/05/opinions/sergey-lavrov-hitler-comments-ukraine-kauders/index.html