Justice Secretary in Deepfake General Election Warning

Cyber Threat Summary:
UK Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland, has voiced concerns about the threat of deepfakes to British democracy prior to upcoming elections. He cited that there is a “clear and present danger” regarding deepfakes and noted how they can be used to potentially erode trust in information and sway opinions. Buckland highlighted that with AI being easily accessible and the sheer scale of generative AI, individuals can create and share content rapidly. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has previously cautioned about the rise of deepfake campaigns leading up to the next UK general election.

Security Officer Comments:
Deepfakes were used previously, with fake clips impersonating political figures, such as Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and London mayor Sadiq Khan, made available for public viewing. Microsoft recently weighed in on the issue, stating that deepfakes could be used to spread disinformation and is taking measures to address the threat, including the creation of an "Election Communications Hub." Buckland, along with other Tory MPs, has requested clearer guidelines for social media firms to comply with new national security laws aimed at countering foreign interference in elections.

Suggested Correction(s):
As AI becomes more sophisticated, especially in the realm of photography and graphics, it will become increasingly difficult to determine whether an image is authentic by detecting deficiencies or inconsistencies in fake images. However, as the issue worsens, there are several preventive measures that can be considered to spot fake images from real. For example, companies and individuals can use digital signatures, watermarking, or other cryptographic methods to ensure that content has not been altered in any way.