How the Blackbird AI Platform Addresses Narrative Attacks in the Technology Industry

Tech leaders must prioritize narrative attack risk reduction to safeguard their companies from the growing threat of AI-powered misinformation and disinformation.

Joanna Burkey Senior Analyst TAG Infosphere and Former CISO at HP on June 10, 2024

The technology industry is the cornerstone of innovation and has been a growth driver for economies worldwide. As one might expect, this vital role places technology companies in the crosshairs of hackers and other malicious actors. Unfortunately, adding to this security burden is a new type of threat based on a so-called narrative attack that targets an organization’s reputation.

A narrative attack would target technology companies, including startups, because an adversary would use misinformation, which involves factually incorrect statements, or disinformation, which involves deliberately using bad data to target some individual or group. When such bad information is deployed, often on social media, reputational damage can be achieved, which can have serious implications for the tech company’s success.

Learn More: Narrative Attacks: The New Cybersecurity Threat

Narrative Attacks For Reputational Damage

Narrative attacks in technology can be specially crafted to target a company’s reputation. In today’s society, a company’s value proposition, especially in technology, can sometimes largely depend on how socially responsible it is. Disinformation or deepfakes can create realistic videos and audio recordings of tech leaders or key personnel saying and doing things that never happened. This can create the impression of internal turmoil, scandal, or illegal activities, affecting public trust and company valuation.

AI-powered bots can amplify negative sentiments about a company or its products on social media platforms and forums. This artificial consensus can deter potential customers and investors, leading to both reputational and financial consequences. While appearing “grassroots”  and therefore genuine, this fake consensus can be augmented with disinformation that falsely claims ethical breaches or security flaws in a company’s product.

Narrative Attacks For Financial Damage

Narrative attacks can also be weaponized against the technology sector to impact a company’s financial standing or material resources directly. While reputational damage can often ripple effect on the bottom line, attacks crafted specifically for financial damage often have a more direct and immediate impact in this space.

One of the narrative attacks that the malicious use of AI has now enabled is the capacity for stock market manipulation. AI can be used to generate and spread rumors or misleading analyses intended to inflate or deflate stock prices artificially. This type of market manipulation can be used to benefit certain stakeholders at the expense of others or targeted to harm a specific company.

Attackers can also use AI to create sophisticated smear campaigns against competitors, undermining their technologies or business practices without basis. This can distort the competitive landscape, mislead consumers, and result in direct financial harm to the targeted company. When coupled with market manipulation, a well-crafted smear campaign can be an existential threat, especially to less well-established or younger companies.

We have known for some time that the primary reason behind phishing or social engineering attacks is often to perpetuate e-crime. AI magnifies this long-standing threat by enabling the crafting of highly personalized and convincing phishing emails or messages. With the support of AI, these can appear more than ever to be from credible sources within the company or the tech industry to steal confidential information or gain unauthorized access.

Learn More: Business Case: Why Cybersecurity Leaders and CISOs Need Narrative Risk Intelligence

This claim was checked by Compass by Blackbird.AI.

Narrative Attacks Using Technology As A Vector

Another way that technology can be a victim of narrative attacks is when AI uses the technology as a vector to target others. An example is how AI can understand and exploit platforms’ algorithms like YouTube, X, or Google, spreading misleading content more effectively by optimizing for engagement or search rankings. The intended victim of such exploitation is not the technology itself, but the fact that a company’s tech can be used in such a way means that the technology will share in the blame for such attacks when they occur.

Addressing Narrative Attacks On Technology With Blackbird.AI

As suggested above, whatever the motivation for a narrative attack, every technology provider, supplier, manufacturer, or researcher must keep up with false information that could spread quickly without a counternarrative and ultimately impact the bottom line. Blackbird.AI, using its Constellation Narrative Intelligence Platform, can help spot or detect narrative attacks against organizations in the technology sector.

Blackbird.AI engages with technology companies to carefully collect relevant data about their firm and use advanced monitoring to identify risks quickly to take action. Customers need not worry about expensive deployments or capital outlays as the offering operates as a Software as a Service (SaaS) capability and can be engaged quickly and efficiently.

Thus, technology companies should consider engaging with security solution providers like Blackbird.AI to implement a narrative attack risk reduction program. Without such protection, the types of attacks described above could easily occur. Companies operating in this space are encouraged to contact Blackbird.AI to learn how their platform can reduce this risk through misinformation and disinformation controls.

About Blackbird.AI

BLACKBIRD.AI protects organizations from narrative attacks created by misinformation and disinformation that cause financial and reputational harm. Powered by our AI-driven proprietary technology, including the Constellation narrative intelligence platform, RAV3N Risk LMM, Narrative Feed, and our RAV3N Narrative Intelligence and Research Team, Blackbird.AI provides a disruptive shift in how organizations can protect themselves from what the World Economic Forum called the #1 global risk in 2024.

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