The information landscape constantly evolves with the threat of misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation (MDM) attacks. These deceptive tactics, also known as narrative attacks, can spread rapidly and harm individuals, organizations, and society.

This blog post equips you with the knowledge to:

  • Identify the different types of MDM attacks.
  • Understand the signs to watch out for.
  • Implement strategies to protect yourself and your organization.

What are MDM Attacks?

MDM attacks involve the spread of harmful narratives through various tactics:

  • Misinformation: The unintentional sharing of inaccurate or outdated information (e.g., outdated medical research).
  • Disinformation: Deliberate spread of manipulated or fabricated information to deceive and harm (e.g., falsely claiming a company is greenwashing).
  • Malinformation: Malicious sharing of factual information to sabotage (e.g., leaking customer data and other sensitive information through a cyberattack).

Who is at Risk?

Everyone is susceptible to MDM attacks. However, some sectors are at higher risk in 2024, including:

  • Government
  • Financial services
  • Consumer brands
  • Pharmaceutical/Healthcare
  • Entertainment

Signs of MDM Attacks

There are signs that online content is part of misinformation or disinformation attacks. Below are a few of the biggest red flags:

  • Emotional manipulation: Content designed to evoke strong emotions (fear, anger) that lack factual evidence.
  • Lack of credible sources: Unattributed information or reliance on unknown websites/anonymous individuals is a red flag.
  • Rapidly spreading content: Information going viral quickly, especially through unfamiliar accounts, raises concerns.
  • Targeting specific groups: Content exploiting existing biases or vulnerabilities within specific communities is another indicator.

Learn more about the various tactics used in disinformation attacks with our quick guide.

Consequences of MDM Attacks:

MDM attacks can have severe consequences, including (but not limited to):

  • Reputational damage: False narratives can tarnish an organization's image and erode trust.
  • Societal harm: Misinformation can fuel social division and hinder collective action.
  • Financial losses: Disinformation campaigns can manipulate markets and lead to financial harm for organizations, including consumer brands.

In fact, given the speed at which MDM attacks travel and the advances in generative AI, the World Economic Forum declared narrative attacks from misinformation and disinformation the number one global threat in 2024. 

Real-Life Examples of MDM Attacks:

There have been many examples of high-profile MDM attacks in recent years, including: 

  • Disinformation attacks following a bank collapse spread false narratives about bailouts, government ties, and CEO misconduct.
  • Cyberattacks on a resort led to data breaches and fueled rumors about cover-ups and foreign attacks.

Best Practices for Protection Against MDM Attacks

Despite the prevalence of MDM attacks, there are steps organizations can take to reduce the risk:

  • Monitor the full information landscape: Track online discussions, news platforms, niche websites, and the dark web.
  • Track the tactics: Understand how messages are created and amplified, using AI-generated content.
  • Know the intent: Differentiate unintentional misinformation from deliberate disinformation and malinformation.
  • Form an executive alliance: Foster collaboration between security and communications teams for crisis response.
  • Partner with a narrative intelligence expert: Gain real-time visibility and analysis of narratives across various platforms.

Blackbird.AI as Your #1 Partner Against MDM Attacks

The BlackBird.AI Constellation Platform is a purpose-built Narrative Intelligence platform that enables organizations across industries and types to protect against emergent narrative attacks created by misinformation and disinformation that cause financial and reputational harm. 

A few key platform features:

  •  Narrative intelligence surfaces the emerging narratives that drive online conversations, analyzing how they spread and grow.
  • Actor intelligence identifies and maps the most influential actors, cohorts, networks, and actors' intent and motives.
  • Threat intelligence via the Blackbird.AI Risk Index scores threats related to toxicity, polarization, automated networked activity, sexism, hate speech, misinformation, and other dangerous characteristics.
  • Impact intelligence allows organizations to understand better and predict the impact of ongoing harmful activity across the information landscape while measuring the success of their mitigative efforts.

Learn more about how we can help your organization mitigate and navigate narrative attacks by booking a demo today.

The RAV3N Team
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.