Spotlight

Latest Research

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2023. (Source: Sputnik/Vladimir Astapkovich/Kremlin via Reuters)
June 2024

In Sub-Saharan Africa, China embraces Russian messaging against Ukraine

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

Russian narratives thrive in Sub-Saharan Africa with the help of Chinese media networks, localization expertise, and infrastructure
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June 2024

“Reasonable” Cybersecurity in Forty-Seven Cases: The Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Actions Against Unfair and Deceptive Cyber Practices

by Isabella Wright, Maia Hamin

The FTC has brought 47 cases against companies for unfair or deceptive cybersecurity practices. What can we learn from them?
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Words of Iron promo screenshots
June 2024

Online tool helps social media accounts amplify pro-Israel messages

“Words of Iron” represents a shift in the evolving approach to digital propaganda during times of war
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June 2024

Far-right parties employed generative AI ahead of European Parliament elections

by Valentin Châtelet

Europe-wide coalition Identity and Democracy utilized AI imagery despite signing a code of conduct on its use in the election campaign
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Generative art showing paper airplanes flying over Red Square in Moscow.
June 2024

Another battlefield: Telegram as a digital front in Russia’s war against Ukraine

In this new report, the DFRLab investigates the role of Telegram in Russia since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine
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screenshot of Facebook ad featuring Elon Musk, whose voice has been altered to promote a scam.
June 2024

Spanish-language ads amplify scams using audio deepfakes of public figures

by Daniel Suárez Pérez

Scammers fabricated interviews with politicians and tech moguls to present supposed investments as legitimate government-backed programs
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Photo of DTI Director Rose Jackson speaking at the ITU's World Summit on the Information Society, May 2024. (Source: Konstantinos Komaitis)
June 2024

Remarks at the International Telecommunication Union’s World Summit on the Information Society Forum

by Rose Jackson

Democracy + Tech Initiative Director Rose Jackson on connectivity, human rights, and the future of the internet
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June 2024

Doppelganger targets US audience on X to discredit Georgian protests

by Eto Buziashvili

The latest iteration of the Russia-attributed campaign discredits pro-democracy protests in Georgia
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June 2024

Tailored Russian disinformation targets Polish farmer protests

by Givi Gigitashvili

Kremlin-backed actors attempt to sow division between Poland and Ukraine
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In-Depth Reports

June 2024

“Reasonable” Cybersecurity in Forty-Seven Cases: The Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Actions Against Unfair and Deceptive Cyber Practices

by Isabella Wright, Maia Hamin

The FTC has brought 47 cases against companies for unfair or deceptive cybersecurity practices. What can we learn from them?
Read More
Generative art showing paper airplanes flying over Red Square in Moscow.
June 2024

Another battlefield: Telegram as a digital front in Russia’s war against Ukraine

In this new report, the DFRLab investigates the role of Telegram in Russia since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine
Read More
April 2024

Markets Matter: A Glance into the Spyware Industry

by Jen Roberts, Trey Herr, Emma Taylor, Nitansha Bansal

The Intellexa Consortium is a complex web of holding companies and vendors for spyware and related services. The Consortium represents a compelling example of spyware vendors in the context of the market in which they operate—one which helps facilitate the commercial sale of software driving both human rights and national security risk.
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An image of a GPU overlaid with a computer terminal showing the results of an nmap command, a network scan.
February 2024

Hacking with AI

by Maia Hamin, Stewart Scott

Can generative AI help hackers? By deconstructing the question into attack phases and actor profiles, this report analyzes the risks, the realities, and their implications for policy.
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Smartphone with the app from TikTok on the flags of the USA and China. (Source: Reuters)
February 2024

TikTok: Hate the Game, Not the Player

by Rose Jackson, Seth Stodder, Kenton Thibaut

How Strategic and Regulatory Confusion Around TikTok Prevent an Effective National Security Response
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January 2024

Design Questions in the Software Liability Debate

by Maia Hamin, Sara Ann Brackett, and Trey Herr, with Andy Kotz

Software liability—resurgent in the policy debate since its mention in the 2023 US National Cybersecurity Strategy—describes varied potential structures to create legal accountability for vendors of insecure software. This report identifies key design questions for such regimes and tracks their discussion through the decades-long history of the debate.
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November 2023

This Job Post Will Get You Kidnapped: A Deadly Cycle of Crime, Cyberscams, and Civil War in Myanmar

by Emily Ferguson and Emma Schroeder

In Myanmar, cybercrime has become an effective vehicle through which nonstate actors can fund and perpetuate conflict.
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Telephone with messaging apps. “Protecting point-to-point messaging apps: Understanding Telegram, WeChat, and WhatsApp in the United States” cover image.
August 2023

Protecting point-to-point messaging apps: Understanding Telegram, WeChat, and WhatsApp in the United States

by Iria Puyosa

A year-long project on protecting users’ data and privacy that analyzes the growing use of point-to-point messaging platforms in the United States and the implications their design and governing policies have for user privacy and free speech.
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Democracy Derailed report cover art
August 2023

Sudan’s precarious information environment and the fight for democracy

by Tessa Knight, Lujain Alsedeg

An examination of the time from December 2018, when protests against then-president Omar al-Bashir first broke out, and December 2022, when a framework agreement between civilian and military leaders came into play.
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Projects

Russian soldier and helicopter

Russian War Report

As Russia’s aggression in Europe heats up, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) is keeping a close eye on Moscow’s movements across the military, cyber, and information domains.

Foreign Interference Attribution Tracker

The DFRLab’s Foreign Interference Attribution Tracker (FIAT) is an interactive, open-source database that captures allegations of foreign interference relevant to the 2020 election. This tool assesses the credibility, bias, evidence, transparency, and impact of each claim.


Election Official Handbook: Preparing for Election Day Misinformation

As part of the Election Integrity Partnership, the DFRLab has analyzed roughly four hundred cases of election-related dis- and misinformation on social media. This memo gathers the findings and issues recommendations for US election officials: they must prepare for viral falsehoods online that persist for weeks.


Dichotomies of Disinformation

Via the DFRLab’s Github: This project isolates “political disinformation campaigns.” Dichotomies of Disinformation proposes and tests a classification system built on 150 variable options. Our intent is to establish a replicable, extensible system by which widely disparate disinformation campaigns can be categorized and compared.

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