How AI is Leading to More Business Phishing Attacks

by Robert Best on December 20, 2019
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How AI is leading to more business phishing attacks

Artificial intelligence has made a big impact. Its presence is already felt in everyday life, from helpful assistants like Alexa and Siri to use on factory floors for industries.

Sadly, there are also negative uses for AI and their use in cyberattacks have added new threats to businesses.

AI usage in cyber attacks

Cyber attacks are increasing these days. A recent study by Juniper Research estimates that they will cost global companies $2 trillion in 2019. One of the reasons this amount is rising is due to an increase in social engineering and AI being used by hackers.

AI is often being used for cyber scams and is increasingly used for social engineering. Social engineering is the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information. The use of AI-assisted technology is now increasing the level of phishing attacks.

Attackers are now using new technology to improve the success of their phishing tactics. AI is improving the standard of impersonation and call monitoring for vishing attacks (telephone phishing).

As an example, an attacker can find a video of a CEO speaking at an event, grab it off social media and then use a voice snippet to create a voice key that works on voice-activated devices and platforms.

Even if there are no recordings online, a skilled hacker can still find ways to get a snippet of someone's voice by recording a quick phone call. It doesn't take much voice material to cause major damage.

New threats AI brings

Instead of the standard business email compromise attack, there is now the threat of AI chatbots that trick users into clicking malicious links or using AI to monitor executives’ behaviour for more precise, effective, automated phishing.

AI and machine learning go beyond just simple levels of automation and even algorithms. Instead, AI can offer scalability that goes well beyond the rate of human capability. Even the style of attacks will change. AI can make better decisions and is better equipped to avoid predictable tactics.

Other hackers will use AI-driven malware tools, such as keyloggers to intercept the passwords of users. Malware is often the payload of a social engineering scam. The attack is looking to trick the person into downloading it.

AI can also be the solution

helpful AI

The AI news is not all bad. While it will provide new challenges AI will also help businesses in combating phishing attacks. Cybersecurity defences are already being made by enlisting the power of AI.

SSL and TLS certificates online are putting users minds at ease. By adding further encryption shields to a website they protect a user from malicious attacks.

These certificates along with neural networks can detect phishing and AI chatbots and can tie up the hackers time working through them that they are likely to move on to easier targets.

You will most likely have already benefited from profiling model technology that flags financial transactions as suspicious. Activities out of the normal profile are marked as suspicious. AI has a hand in creating these profiles.

Summary

Hackers and Cyber criminals continue to use new technology to improve the quantity and quality of their attacks. For a business, it means cybersecurity becomes even more of a priority in 2020.

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