UN says dangers of using digital technologies as weapons are growing

ONU diz que perigos do uso de tecnologias digitais como armas estão a crescer

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has warned that the use of digital technologies as weapons is growing every year.

Quoted by the Associated Press (AP), he said that malicious activities in cyberspace carried out by governments, non-governmental actors and criminals are also on the rise.

"The misuse of digital technology is becoming more sophisticated and stealthy, malware, wipers and Trojans are proliferating," said Guterres, warning the UN Security Council that "quantum computing could break entire systems with its ability to breach cryptography".

And because not everything is going wrong, the UN leader also took the opportunity to argue that digital advances "are revolutionizing economies and societies". Guterres said, however, that cyber security incidents have become "disturbingly common", in health, banking and telecommunications services alike.

He then moved on to practical examples of how cyber crime is a worrying reality today. "Ransomware is a serious example - a huge threat to public and private institutions and the critical infrastructure on which people depend. According to some estimates, total ransomware payments have reached 1.1 billion dollars (around 1 billion euros)," he added.

António Guterres gave a long speech on this sector, its progress and dangers, lamenting that "malicious activity that undermines public institutions, electoral processes and online integrity erodes trust, fuels tensions and even sows the seeds of violence and conflict".

The UN secretary-general has invited the 193 member states to a Summit of the Future at the end of September, calling for it to be used as "a fundamental opportunity to support the maintenance of international peace and security in cyberspace". (Angop)

(Image: DR)

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