Tactical Misinformation-Disinformation in your Organization
1.Definitions: Misinformation Disinformation Malinformation
2.Impacts: Cyber-Social and Cyber-Psychological
3.Implications: Control and Influence of Populations
4.Methodologies: Social and Personal Influence Operations
5.Historical Allegories: Similar and Disimilar Effectiveness
6. Exploitation: Risk, Management and Prevention
Misinformation: Unintentional mistakes such as inaccurate photo captions, dates, statistics,
translations, or when satire is taken seriously.
Disinformation: Fabricated or deliberately manipulated audio/visual content. Intentionally
created conspiracy theories or rumors.
Malinformation: Deliberate publication of private information for personal or corporate rather
than public interest, such as revenge porn. Deliberate change of context, date or time of
We will move through these three definitions and go from falseness to an intent to harm.
The “misinformation effect” is the way false or misleading information distorts a person’s understanding of a topic or event, even if
they have a factual understanding of the topic or event. In short, it’s when our memory for past events is altered after exposure to
The “tainted truth effect,” which is closely related to the misinformation effect. The tainted truth effect refers to the way
warnings of misinformation — both well-intentioned, like fact-checking, and ill-intentioned — can actually make people less
trusting of legitimate news and information.
Persuasive Wording: "Did you see the Boss has a new car" rather than "Did you see new car driven by the Boss.
Disinformation plays to emotions and biases, simplifies difficult topics,
allows the audience to feel as though they are exposing truths, and
offers identity validation.
Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques (AMITT) framework, developed by the CogSec
Collaborative, not only is a framework but provided are Tools Techniques and Procedures (TTP) for Adversarial
Misinformation Playbooks, Cognitive Security and Countermeasures.
Frameworks in MDM
Disinformation Analysis and Risk Management (DISARM) Framework, developed by the DISARM Foundation,
addresses two main methodologies in this Cybersecurity paradigm. DISARM Red, is for incident creator behaviors
(Attack), and DISARM Blue, is for potential response behaviors (Defense).
SCOTCH framework. Source Channel Objective Target Composition and Hook. The SCOTCH framework is both a
general-purpose framework for operational analysis and characterization and a starting point for deeper study and decision
making from a research standpoint, SCOTCH provides a single framework for researchers to characterize influence
operations to behavioral, technical, operational, political, and commercial audiences.
ADTAC Disinformation Inventory. The ADT Standard is a global model for online subversion. The ADT standard is a
framework that offers a quantified model of manipulation techniques allowing for a common overview of disinformation
phenomena. Entries are divided into definitions of techniques, connections to the latest countermeasures, and predictions
for future exploits. Breaking down each tactic into its individual metrics allows our lab to analyze, verify, and predict trends
The Integrity Institute created the Misinformation Amplification Factor (MAF) dashboard which, by their wording,
“The Misinformation Amplification Factor (MAF) tracks the engagement (in likes, favs, retweets, shares, comments,
replies, and views) that misinformation gets on the large platforms relative to the expectation engagement, which is
estimated based on the historical posts of the accounts that posted the misinfo.” This is a crucial factor in aggregative
misinformation distribution, analysis, and interception. International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) by Poynter
baselines data utilized in the MAF. The IFCN by Poynter was launched in 2015 to bring together the growing community
of fact-checkers around the world and advocates of fact-based information in the global fight against misinformation.
IFCN enables fact-checkers through networking, capacity building and collaboration.
Reconnaissance - The attacker has the advantage here, with easy access to social space and searchable search engine data, combined
with anonymity and deception making mass target information gathering and profiling cheap easy and low risk.
Weaponization – Use of free/inexpensive tools to create content (rumors, lies, outrages, conspiracies) and generate
memes/images/audio and video. Deep Fakes and emerging publicly available Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. Cyber psychological principles
still apply today, e.g. wrapping rumors, perceptions, interpretations, prejudices, movements and speech rhetoric in a grain of truth, using
outrage, doubt, conspiracy and humor, and exploiting existing themes/perceptions and social normalcy.
Delivery - Can distribute to multiple platforms distribution as 1:1, 1:few or 1:many; platforms range from WhatsApp, Twitter, Tinder to
Facebook, YouTube, TicTok, Instagram, using Google and trending data.
Exploitation – AI bots amplify content to make it look popular/viral in metrics; trolls and “useful idiots” lay bait for journalists, politicians,
business leaders, and the public. At the volume of supply, speed of consumption, and shallowness of engagement for much of the
audience, sources are irrelevant, and verification is unwarranted particularly when it’s feeding deeply entrenched human biases.
Whether it's faking a letter from a chief executive to alter a corporate strategy or staging a car crash to imply a faulty
vehicle, fake news that generates headlines can — and has — hurt a company’s bottom line, pushing the stock price
down and setting off a public relations nightmare that is, in many cases, irreversible.
Business Implications of Tactical MDM Attacks
"Fake news today is like a modern-day tech suicide bomber in the worlds
of communication, reputation and branding. It only takes one well-planned
success to hurt a lot of people or an organization," said Mike Paul,
president of Reputation Doctor, a public relations firm, noting that the best
response involves a deep understanding of algorithms, hackers and
cybersecurity along with knowledge of social and traditional media.
Fake news—social media items, that are intentionally and verifiably false designed to manipulate people’s perceptions of
reality—has been used to influence politics and promote advertising. But it has also become a method to stir up and intensify
social conflict. Stories that are untrue and that intentionally mislead readers have caused growing mistrust among people. In
some cases, this mistrust results in incivility, protest over imaginary events, or violence.
Reputation is defined as the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. The reputation of your business has a huge
impact on customer loyalty and retention, relationship with investors and stakeholders, employee retention and hiring capabilities, sales and growth
opportunities, and much more.
Reputation and Brand Damage
Reputational damage is the loss of financial and/or social capital, as well as market share, resulting from damage to a company’s reputation.
While your reputation is considered an intangible asset, the impact of reputational damage is not. Reputational damage is often measured in
lost revenue, changes or increases in capital, operating, or regulatory costs, or significant decreases in shareholder value.
While the impacts of reputational damage can be short-term, severe hits to your business’s reputation can result in:
• loss of customers,
• fall in sales,
• decrease in employee retention,
• difficulty hiring and increased hiring costs,
• significant financial losses or bankruptcy,
• and can increase liquidity risk, impacting stock price.
In 2022, there are more possibilities for your business to undergo scrutiny than ever before. For starters, more and more
people are getting their news online, with 86% of Americans reporting that they get their news on their smartphone,
tablet, or computer.
Addressing Reputational Damage
Accept that hits to your reputation will happen. The first step in addressing reputational risk and damage is to accept
that any business can experience a hit to its reputation.
Build your brand and online presence. Establishing a strong foundation to present your business to your audience – customers, employees,
and investors – is an invaluable tool for proactive and reactive reputation management and building your brand and online presence can be the
best line of defense against reputational damage. For proactive reputation management, having a strong online presence and cohesive brand
can increase customer loyalty and retention, as well as increase your business’s visibility in search results. Additionally, it can provide a
foundation for your business to work off of in the face of a PR crisis.
Determine and maintain your company mission and values. As we stated earlier, the quality of a company’s product and services offerings is fourth most
important to consumers, behind a good reputation, positive customer reviews, and responsive customer service. Another key factor in customer acquisition,
retention, and satisfaction is aligning with your customers’ values. Nearly 90% of shoppers report that they stay loyal to brands that share their values, so
establishing a clear mission, values, and philanthropic involvement for your company can have a significant impact not only on your customers, employees, and
investors, but on your community and the world. When it comes to your business’s mission, always carry out the values that you’ve defined as core to your
business. Be open to feedback and listen to your customers to see how you can improve. Find causes related to your industry, products or services, and community
and get involved.
What’s “Doomscrolling” and Can It Harm Me?
Binging on news or social media content about troubling things -- like a tragedy, crisis, or disaster -
- it’s called “doomscrolling” or “doomsurfing.”
Written by Evan Starkman
Medically Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on September 06, 2022
Doomscrolling can send your mind racing and lead to burnout. It can also
make you feel uncertain, anxious, or distressed. And those feelings can
steal your sleep, appetite, motivation, or desire to do things you usually
enjoy, research suggests.
Who’s More Likely to Doomscroll?
Anyone can spend too much time getting lost down the rabbit hole of
negative online news and social media. But one study suggests that:
• Men are slightly more likely than women to doomscroll.
• Younger adults are more likely than older adults to do it.
• People who closely follow or participate in politics are more likely to
What Makes Us Want to Doomscroll?
Lots of us try to stay up to date on current events that concern or affect us,
like the COVID-19 pandemic, weather-related disasters, mass shootings,
and tribal politics. But routinely overdoing it can create problems.
One study suggests that news viewing becomes a problem when you get
absorbed in the content, you check it over and over, and it interferes with
your daily life somehow.
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