Russia is stepping up disinformation campaign against Paris Olympics

Tuesday, 4 June 2024

Russia has stepped up its disinformation campaign against the Paris Olympics, including by creating the impression that violence is likely to occur at the competition.

According to AFP, Microsoft's Threat Analysis Centre (MTAC) reportedly mentions two Russian influence groups, Storm-1679 and Storm-1099, which use artificial intelligence in combination with old-fashioned methods to carry out malicious activities.

The content they distribute is aimed at discrediting France, its President Emmanuel Macron, and the International Olympic Committee.

MTAC reported that Storm-1679 "also seeks to spread fear to dissuade viewers from attending the games". In particular, the group has distributed fake videos online, one of which is claimed to be content produced by the France 24 news channel, and claims that 24% of tickets sold were returned due to fears of attacks. It is emphasised that this is not true.


In another video, the Russian group claims to be from the CIA and the French Directorate General of Internal Security, advising against travelling to France, allegedly because of the risk of attack.

Storm-1099 is also reported to be using a network of 15 websites with content written in French, which present themselves as media outlets that they are not.

These platforms also warn of possible attacks and criticise Macron and his government for their alleged indifference to the problems of the French people.

MTAC expects this Russian activity to "intensify" as the inauguration ceremony draws closer.

In June 2023, Storm-1679 uploaded a fake documentary against the IOC called The Fall of the Olympics, inspired by the film The Fall of the White House (2013) and using artificial intelligence to imitate the voice of American actor Tom Cruise.

France is seriously concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks during the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Paris.

Paris decided to involve forces from a number of partner countries in security measures.

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