The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been exploding of late. And it’s easy to see why! It’s helping businesses by automating activities, providing insights and optimising processes. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Alongside the benefits of AI come with it many worrying risks. One of these is how AI can be used as a tool to make cyber-attacks more sophisticated and effective.
If you’re worried about cyberattacks on your business, Cloud and More can help. We are an IT support company in Bristol and Milton Keynes. We specialise in a range of IT services including cyber security in Milton Keynes, Bristol and the surrounding regions.
How are cybercriminals weaponising AI?
Cybercriminals that use AI can leverage the capabilities of machine learning algorithms to automate and scale attacks. Hackers can evade detection and launch more sophisticated and targeted attacks with AI in their toolbox.
Here are some of the ways that AI can be used by hackers to exploit companies:
Hackers can use AI systems to gain access to the sensitive data sets that were used to train them. This can give them access to confidential data that they can use for identity theft or to blackmail businesses.
Analyse stolen data
AI can help hackers to identify valuable parts of large amounts of stolen data. Once the cybercriminal knows what is valuable, they can then sell this information on the dark web.
AI can be used to automate cyberattacks such as phishing. We all know that spotting phishing can be as simple as looking out for spelling errors. AI can eliminate any spelling or grammar mistakes, making the email or text message look more convincing and thus fool more people.
Social engineering attacks
AI can learn to spot patterns in behaviour and learn how to convince people that emails, phone calls or videos are legitimate in order to get them to give up their personal details such as passwords. AI-powered chatbots, for instance, can manipulate individuals into revealing sensitive information.
AI can also use deepfakes to create more convincing social engineering attacks. Deepfakes are a type of synthetic media created by AI that has been manipulated to replace a person’s face or voice with someone else’s. It’s hard to differentiate from legitimate content. These deepfakes are only going to become more convincing. Many people are clued up on those fake emails from hackers pretending to be their boss and asking for money, gift vouchers or sensitive information. However, if a hacker can use your boss’s voice or even face, how many more people are going to fall victim to such an attack and compromise the company’s security?
The more advanced AI becomes, the more likely it will be able to identify vulnerable applications, devices and networks. Hackers can then exploit weaknesses in computer systems in order to gain access.
Hackers can use AI to help them to develop and deploy malware that is designed to evade detection and infect vulnerable systems. AI is being used to develop more sophisticated malware that can evade traditional antivirus software.
Brute force attacks
AI can help to generate and test millions of possible password combinations in a short amount of time. This means the cybercriminal can gain access to a target system quicker.
It can be easy for a hacker to manipulate AI. After all, AI is built on the data sets used to train them, so by simply modifying the input data, it can evidently lead to issues. Adversarial attacks are a type of cyberattack where AI is tricked or fooled by adding subtle and malicious modifications to input data. This is known as data poisoning. This could be used to bypass security systems such as facial recognition software. The hacker could then access unauthorised locations or information.
In order to defend against AI-powered cyber-attacks, you need to adopt a proactive and multi-layered approach to your cyber security. Cloud and More can help you to do this. We are an IT support company in Bristol. We provide IT services such as proactive monitoring, hosted telephony and cyber security in Milton Keynes, Bristol and beyond.
As AI evolves, it’s more and more likely that cybercriminals will leverage its capabilities to launch increasingly sophisticated and complex attacks. It is therefore critical for you to stay vigilant to mitigate the risk of AI-powered cyberattacks. If you would like to employ a professional, give us a call. We’d love to work with you to keep your business secure and safe from hackers.