UK labels AI Tools as a cyber threat to National Elections

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Britain has identified the continued use of AI tools as a significant cyber threat to the upcoming national elections slated for January 2025. Emphasizing the increasing difficulty for security experts to track and neutralize these deepfake threats, particularly in the context of digital elections, the nation has raised concerns about potential interference.

As state-funded actors intensify their efforts to infiltrate critical national infrastructure, including power, water, and internet networks, the National Cyber Security Center has revealed plans to develop a comprehensive framework to counter these threats at their roots. Additionally, the center aims to publicly expose nations engaging in such malicious tactics.

In a noteworthy development, intelligence agencies such as GCHQ, MI5, and MI6 have identified China as a rising adversary to the UK’s security. This marks the first official statement acknowledging China, led by Xi Jinping, as a predominant power in the cyber space.

In response to these cyber threats, government officials are proposing a return to traditional voting methods involving pen and paper. This move aims to create a more resilient system that is less susceptible to hacking and manipulation of election results. While the use of deep fake videos and virtual bots to influence voters remains a concern, the impact on the manual counting and tabulation process is considered impractical.

Looking ahead to the US Elections in 2024, parallels are drawn as other nations, including Germany and the UK, have acknowledged and confronted attempts by adversaries to influence their political landscapes. Former US President Barack Obama publicly stated in one of his final meetings that Russia had indeed influenced the 2016 US polls. However, concrete evidence was not provided, rendering the statement inconclusive given that Donald Trump had already assumed office by that time.

The uncertainty surrounding the next potential target for election interference remains high, underscoring the need for heightened vigilance and proactive measures to safeguard the integrity of democratic processes.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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