Cyber Review-April 2024
Anurag Sharma, Senior Research Associate, VIF


Deepfakes of Bollywood celebrities are spreading over the Internet and influencing voter decisions during General Election 2024.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated deepfake videos of Bollywood celebrities, including Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor, surfaced online saying that “Prime Minister Modi had failed to keep campaign promises and address critical economic issues during his two terms.” The deepfake clips concluded with the opposition Congress election symbol and slogan: “Vote for Justice, Vote for Congress”. However, celebrities have denied involvement in such videos that experts say put a significant burden on the public to discern fact from fiction in a society where opinion could be easily influenced by cult culture among those untrained in critical thinking. “Keeping in mind how disinformation is already one of the biggest issues the country is facing, the introduction of AI-led disinformation worsens an already bad situation significantly,” said Archis Chowdhury, a senior fact-checker and correspondent at BOOM— a Bharatiya fact-checking platform. [1]

“AI could kill Call Centres”: TCS Chief Executive.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)’s Chief Executive— K Krithivasan, said that “though we have not seen any job reduction so far, the artificial intelligence (AI) will result in ‘minimal’ need for Call Centres in about a year.” The adoption of AI is set to completely change the kind of customer help centres that have created mass employment in countries such as Bharat. “We are in a situation where the technology should be able to predict a call coming and then proactively address the customer’s pain point. In an ideal phase, if you ask me, there should be very minimal incoming call centres having incoming calls at all,” said Krithivasan. TCS has over 6,00,000 employees and nearly $46 billion in annual revenues. It reported that its pipeline of AI projects doubled quarter over quarter to be worth $US900 million by the end of March 2024. [2]


China’s new plan to drive innovation highlights data and the ‘Digital Silk Road’.

With a vision to build a digital economy in 2024, China has pledged to push a plan drawing upon the country’s data assets to drive innovation amid an intensifying tech rivalry with the United States. In its plan officially released by the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Data Administration (NDA) on 29 April, China will adopt an “appropriate forward-thinking plan” to accommodate future digital infrastructure needs, accelerate the creation of a national integrated computing network and pave the way for breakthroughs in digital technology and innovations in critical areas, read a government circular on digital economy work for 2024.

Along with this, China will also work on strengthening international cooperation on the digital economy, speeding up trade digitisation, creating a sound environment for global collaboration and advancing the development of the Digital Silk Road (DSR), a technology arm of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). [3]

CISA’s new guidelines are aimed at defending and securing CI systems.

In recently released guidelines, the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) aimed at protecting Critical Infrastructure (CI) systems in a threat landscape increasingly impacted by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The public document covers CI risk and security considerations from three perspectives: i) defending against attackers armed with AI-enabled tools, ii) protecting AI-powered systems from attack, and iii) developing secure and failsafe AI systems.

“Based on CISA’s expertise as National Coordinator for critical infrastructure security and resilience, DHS’ Guidelines are the agency’s first-of-its-kind cross-sector analysis of AI-specific risks to critical infrastructure sectors and will serve as a key tool to help owners and operators mitigate AI risk,” said CISA Director— Jen Easterly. “These resources build upon the Department’s broader efforts to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure and help stakeholders leverage AI,” read a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on 29 April. [4]

Belarus Secret Service website remains non-operational following a cyber-attack by politically motivated hackers.

The official website of Belarus’ State Security Committee (KGB), has been reportedly non-operational for two months following a cyber-attack by “Belarusian Cyber-Partisans”, a politically motivated group of hackers. However, the agency did not comment on the matter. The announcement of the hackers’ operation came a few days after Belarus updated its military doctrine, introducing the possibility of responding to a cyber-attack on its Critical Infrastructure (CI) with force. The “Cyber-Partisans” are made up of exiled tech specialists spread across the world — part of the broader opposition movement in Belarus, using digital tools to try to topple Lukashenko’s regime.

The KGB has been a popular target of the hacker group, which claimed to have infiltrated its network in the fall of 2023 and leaked the data of thousands of employees of the organisation. Over the weekend in April 2024, the hackers published a list of the website’s administrators, database, and server logs on its channel on the Telegram messaging app. The group could download the personal files of more than 8,600 KGB operatives. The hackers have launched a Telegram bot that identifies Belarusian spies in photos uploaded by users. [5]

Microsoft and Google Inc. partnered with Japanese cities on AI rules.

The Japanese division of tech giants— Microsoft, Google Inc, Amazon Web Services, and Oracle, are taking part in a consortium on municipal AI governance that began on 01 May, along with the cities of Osaka, Tsukuba, Nagoya, and Yokosuka. The collaboration will set guidelines for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in government services, focusing on doing more with fewer employees while avoiding pitfalls. The consortium, formed under the Japan-based Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), aims to create guidelines by April 2025. The project is led by Professor Yukihiko Okada, University of Tsukuba, along with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Cabinet Office, and the Digital Agency, joining as observers.

In April 2024, Osaka introduced generative AI for government use that assists in document creation, summarisation, and project planning. In April 2023, Yokosuka became one of the first cities in Japan to use Microsoft-supported OpenAI’s ChatGPT generative AI, with which it began disseminating public information in the English language. [6]


[1] Andrabi, Kaisar. “India election: AI deepfakes of Bollywood stars backing political parties swirl as voters grapple with information overload”, South China Morning Post, 27 April 2024, available from:
[2] “TCS CEO’s major warning on AI: It could kill call centres in a year”, Hindustan Times, 26 April 2024, available from:
[3] Cai, Jane. “China highlights data and ‘digital silk road’ in new plan to drive innovation as US tech rivalry intensifies”, South China Morning Post, 30 April 2024, available from:
[4] “DHS publishes guidelines and report to secure Critical Infrastructure and Weapons of Mass Destruction from AI-related threats”, Press Release- US Homeland Security, 29 April 2024, available from: ; Hendery, Simon. “Defending Infrastructure, securing systems key to CISA’s new AI guidelines”, SC Media, 30 April 2024, available from:
[5] Antoniuk, Daryna. “Belarus Secret Service website still down after hackers claim to breach it”, The Record, 30 April 2024, available from:
[6] Oikawa, Akira. “Microsoft, Google partner with Japanese cities on AI rules”, NIKKEI Asia, 30 April 2024, available from:

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