Updated Apr 12, 2023, 12:16pm EDT
businesssecurityNorth America

Microsoft president says Wagner Group and Russian intelligence are penetrating gaming communities

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The News

Microsoft's president Brad Smith said that his company's digital threat analysis team had recently identified efforts by the Wagner group and Russian intelligence to penetrate gaming apps such as Discord — the social media platform where the recently-leaked Pentagon documents first emerged.

Speaking at Semafor's World Economy Summit, Smith said that Russians were in part, using gaming communities like Discord "as a place to get information into circulation."

Smith also called for the need for a national strategy to strengthen cyber defenses using artificial intelligence — citing the threat of influence campaigns by other foreign adversaries like China and Iran.

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Smith said that "it's not like playing Call of Duty is going to, like, lead to deaths in the real world," but said that Russians were using such gaming communities to publish information and circulate it. He said his company was advising governments about this.

But, he added, that countries should be more worried about "a very broad-based digital threat," citing cyber attacks un Ukraine and ransomware attacks in financial crimes. He added that artificial intelligence should be used as one of the tools to defend against such digital threats.


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