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Yubico Comments GOV UK developing tool to combat threat of AI election interference ELECTION INTERFERENCE

March 2024 by Yubico

2024 is a major election year, with around four billion voters partaking in elections held in 76 countries, including a general election in the UK, rumoured to take place in October*. This political year worldwide has raised concerns about potential attempts to manipulate voters through social media. In fact, fears of malicious attempts to influence election results have led the UK to develop tools that will help democracies collectively fight digital threats.**

According to a recent survey from Yubico titled ‘Impact of Cybersecurity and AI on the 2024 election season’, 43 percent of respondents believe that AI-generated content will negatively affect the outcome of the 2024 elections, and 52 percent of respondents have received an email and/or text message appearing to be from a campaign that they suspected was actually a phishing attempt. Other key findings include:

• 85 percent of respondents do not have a high level of confidence that political campaigns effectively protect the personal information they collect
• Nearly half (42 percent) of registered voters would like to see campaigns and candidates take precautions to prevent their websites from being hacked
• Over a quarter (26 percent) of respondents indicated they have not completed a transaction making a campaign donation because of concerns about the security of the transaction or how their personal information would be handled

Ahead of the upcoming elections, David Treece, vice president of solutions architecture at Yubico, comments on the current risks and additional ways election hacking can be prevented:

“Given the sudden advancement and uncertainty of AI technology, it’s not surprising that over 78 percent of respondents are concerned about AI-generated content being used to impersonate a political candidate or create inauthentic content. Perhaps even more telling is that they believe AI will have a negative effect on this year’s election outcomes.”

“Because campaigns are built on trust, potential hacks like fraudulent emails or messages sent out impersonating candidates via their social media accounts where they are directly interacting with their audience, could be detrimental to campaigns. It’s imperative that candidates take proper steps to protect their campaign and more importantly, to build trust with voters, by adopting modern cybersecurity practices such as multi-factor authentication. Adding a layer of protection with a physical hardware security key to online accounts is a crucial component to ensuring that campaigns remain secure.”


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