Microsoft warned that Russia, Iran, and China are likely to plan to influence the upcoming elections in the United States and other countries in 2024.
In a report released by Microsoft's Threat Analysis Center (MTAC) on November 8, it was stated that “election infrastructure, campaigns, and voters” are expected to be targeted by “authoritarian regimes.”
The 2024 US presidential election is of grave importance to such countries as Russia, Iran and China as it will define Washington’s future foreign policy with regard to several major conflicts on the global stage, added the report entitled “Protecting Election 2024 from foreign malign influence.”
The report referred to the Ukraine war, the conflict in Gaza, and China’s mounting aggressiveness towards Taiwan, predicting that “authoritarian nation states” will try to influence the next year US election “to advance their strategic goals.”
Russia “remains the most committed and capable threat” to the upcoming presidential election, Microsoft analytical survey warned.
According to the report, before 2016 and 2020 US elections, there was “account positioning and messaging designed to sway audiences across the political spectrum in hopes of influencing the nominee result in each political party before the general election.”
Though the 2022 US midterm elections were held without “impactful cyber or influence operations from Russia, Iran, or China,” it has been observed over the recent weeks that Moscow has been slowly accelerating its influence operations, the report stated.
Microsoft's Threat Analysis Center also confirmed that Iran has intensified its cyberattacks and influence operations since 2020, targeting Israel and Bahrain, for instance.
“Microsoft remains committed to protecting democratic elections, and we’ve outlined our principles for safeguarding elections and democratic institutions in the era of AI,” the report stressed.