UN chief warns about increasing use of cyberspace as weapon in armed conflicts

UN chief warns about increasing use of cyberspace as weapon in armed conflicts

Disturbing rise in malicious cyber activity by state, non-state actors, outright criminals, Antonio Guterres tells Security Council

By Merve Aydogan

HAMILTON, Canada (AA) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday emphasized the transformative power of digital technology, as he warned about the “increasing use of cyberspace as another weapon in ongoing global armed conflicts.”

"Digital advances are revolutionizing economies and societies," Guterres told the Security Council during a high-level session on cybersecurity that was held under the chairmanship of South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul, the term president of the Council.

He said the benefits of cyberspace "can also leave people, institutions and entire countries deeply vulnerable."

Highlighting the increasing threat posed by the weaponization of digital technologies, Guterres said: "Cyberspace has kicked the doors wide open. Anyone can walk through."

He pointed to a disturbing rise in malicious cyber activity conducted by state and non-state actors, as well as outright criminals.

The UN chief said: "Digital technology offers an incredible opportunity to create a more just, equal, sustainable, and peaceful future for all. But breakthroughs must be oriented towards the good," despite the challenges.

"Peace and security in the physical world demand new approaches to peace and security in the digital world," he added.

He highlighted the significance of the UN's upcoming "Summit of the Future: Multilateral Solutions for a Better Tomorrow," set for September in New York.

"The pact that will emerge from the Summit represents a pivotal chance to support the maintenance of international peace and security in cyberspace," he said.

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