Intervention by Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, Counsellor at the 7th substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021-2025 (OEWG) on Existing and potential threat, at CR-4, UNHQs on 05 March, 2024.

Thank you, Mr. Chair. It’s a pleasure to see you in the work of this Group. My delegation extends its genuine gratitude to you and your skilled team for steering this group with excellence. Rest assured; you have our unwavering support in all your endeavors.

Mr. Chair,

During the 6th substantive session in last December, my delegation underscored several threats, including deep fakes, quantum computing, AI-powered hacking, and supply chain attacks, as new developments in existing and potential ICT threats. We reaffirm that these threats continue to be highly relevant in the context of the advancement of AI and other emerging technologies.

As we try to answer your questions, my delegation views the increasing weaponization of misinformation and disinformation, driven by cutting-edge artificial intelligence through technologies like deep fakes, as a pressing threat. This threat jeopardizes societal harmony, democratic processes, and the very existence of humanity itself. The cardinal principle of free will, the cornerstone of human superiority, faces unprecedented challenges as sophisticated misinformation and disinformation blur the lines of truth.

This danger is particularly pronounced as billions of people worldwide approach crucial voting moments this year also mentioned by many other delegations, making them vulnerable to its manipulative power. Urgent attention and collective efforts are required to safeguard democratic values and preserve social unity.

Chair, as AI becomes an integral part of people’s decision-making processes, it is crucial to ensure that AI systems are explainable. This helps prevent them from being perceived as black boxes and guarantees that humans remain in control of AI-aided decision-making.

Second, AI is supercharging cyberattacks. Malicious actors can now leverage AI to craft hyper-personalized phishing campaigns. By analyzing vast amounts of data, AI can create highly believable emails that target individuals with unnerving accuracy, bypassing traditional spam filters. This deadliness is compounded by the automation of intrusion attempts. AI-powered tools can orchestrate a relentless barrage of complex attacks, overwhelming security defenses with a constant stream of probing and exploitation efforts. This combination of hyper-personalization and automation makes AI a powerful weapon in the hands of cybercriminals.

Third, the widespread availability of potent ICT tools, both commercially and open source, fosters a ripe environment for cybercrime. Through Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, attackers can disrupt online services with minimal technical expertise. The anonymity afforded by open-source tools complicates attribution, emboldening perpetrators and impeding accountability. The dark web further exacerbates the situation, functioning as a marketplace for sophisticated hacking tools that lower entry barriers to cybercrime. Furthermore, vulnerabilities in widely used open-source libraries create “supply chain weaknesses,” posing a risk to entire software ecosystems.

Finally, the intertwining of AI with cybersecurity presents a paradox. While AI can significantly bolster defense mechanisms, it also equips adversaries with powerful tools to launch sophisticated attacks. As we witness the emergence of novel AI-driven threats, it becomes imperative for organizations, governments, and individuals to stay abreast of this emerging space and invest in technically appropriate security strategies.

In an AI-dominated landscape, the future of ICT security requires more than just technological solutions; it demands a thorough understanding of evolving cyber adversaries’ tactics. The OEWG has been playing and can continue to play a crucial role in addressing this dynamic landscape, which we all desperately aspire to navigate effectively.

I thank you.