What does this have to do with the race for president and what does Citrix have to do with it?
According to the United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), the nation has been subjected to an unprecedented number of cyberattacks over the course of the previous year. 371 of the 2,005 reports that were made by victims on their own were considered to be serious enough for the NCSC Incident Management Team to need to get involved. This is a 64% increase from the previous year's number.
Four of the 62 incidents that were considered to be of national importance were among the worst in the history of the National Counterterrorism and Security Center. Application vulnerabilities accounted for the majority of the incidents. There was a flaw in the Citrix NetScaler product, which was identified as CVE-2023-3519, which was responsible for thirteen of the vulnerabilities, thirteen of which were considered to be of national significance.
At first, the vulnerability was exploited by installing web shells on vulnerable services. This enabled users to maintain access even after the service was restarted or a patch was applied. Since the update was released, services that were not protected have been subjected to automated and increasingly frequent attacks.
The National Cyber Security Center is concerned about poor cyber hygiene, but they also report that the nation's critical infrastructure is in greater danger. A significant source of concern are the governments of China, Iran, and North Korea, which employ hackers to target the United Kingdom and its allies. According to the agency, these hackers are not content to merely alter the appearance of websites or launch DDoS attacks of shorter duration; rather, they are prepared to destroy infrastructure.
There is also mention of a danger to democratic procedures, which is significant because elections are drawing near in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The National Cyber Security Center warns of the risks associated with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to propagate false information and trick people, such as by creating fake audio and video recordings.
Because similar attempts to interfere with elections have already been made in other countries in recent times, the authorities in the UK are already preparing themselves for the possibility that such attempts will also be made in the UK. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has stated that safeguarding democratic procedures will be a top priority both in the UK and with its partners in other countries around the world.