Microsoft accused China on Thursday of operating a disinformation campaign targeting political candidates by impersonating U.S. voters on numerous social media platforms.
In a threat analysis report, Microsoft said that the Chinese Communist Party has improved its sophistication in engaging targeted audiences and their spread is much wider than observed in the past.
“Since the beginning of 2023, Microsoft Threat Intelligence has identified three areas of particular focus for China-affiliated cyber threat actors: the South China Sea, the U.S. defense industrial base, and U.S. critical infrastructure,” the report said.
Microsoft said that before the 2022 midterm elections, Microsoft and industry partners observed Chinese-affiliated social media accounts impersonating voters across the political spectrum and responded to comments from authentic users.
“In both behavior and content, these accounts display many well-documented Chinese IO tactics, techniques, and procedures,” Microsoft said.