Intervention by Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, Counsellor at the intersessional session of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021-2025 (OEWG), Existing and potential threat at CR-1, UNHQs, 11 December 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Very good to see you at the 6th Substantive Session of the OEWG on security of and in the use of ICT. My delegation expresses its sincere appreciation to you and your able team for guiding this group in an excellent manner. You can count on my delegation’s full support in your endeavors.

Mr. Chair,

To answer the guiding questions on new developments or trends in existing and potential ICT threats let me highlight the followings:

First, my delegation believes that deepfakes are becoming increasingly sophisticated and realistic, which poses significant risks for disinformation campaigns, identity theft, and erosion of trust in media. Disinformation campaigns, through deepfakes, have the potential to erode trust in public information and institutions, create confusion, and undermine the credibility of both states and institutions.  In our view, the potential for deepfakes to be used in cyberbullying, propaganda, and criminal activities warrants in-depth discussion and potential policy interventions.

Second, we identify quantum computing as emerging threat as it could render current encryption systems obsolete.  The geopolitical landscape surrounding quantum technology poses challenges that could impede its maximum utilization and advancement. Therefore, we want to have an in-depth discussion on the consequences of malicious use of quantum computing to broaden our common understanding.

Third, AI-powered hacking is another area of growing concern. AI can be used to automate hacking tasks, such as finding vulnerabilities and exploiting them. AI-powered hacking can be used to attack a wide range of targets, including businesses, governments, and individuals. It is imperative to have thorough discussions to pinpoint risks and formulate agile strategies for effective mitigation.

Fourth, Supply chain attacks are becoming increasingly common, targeting critical infrastructure through vulnerabilities in software and hardware components. The growing complexity of software and the reliance on open-source libraries further increases the attack surface and the potential for vulnerabilities. The OEWG should consider potential strategies for enhancing software supply chain security and promoting responsible vulnerability disclosure practices.

Finally, Mr. Chair, my delegation highlights that, given the interdependent nature of ICT, no government or organization is able to address these challenges alone. International cooperation and information sharing are the most viable ways to tackle these issues. In this regard, bridging the digital divide, raising awareness, and capacity building are paramount to effectively address these challenges.

Thank you.