Artificial intelligence has been a key ingredient in propelling businesses forward—creating better customer engagement, cutting response times, providing client-specific solutions, and more. But hackers have also had access to the same innovative technology: AI. While businesses use it to improve their operations, hackers have also been busy using AI technology to advance their illicit activities.
In 2022, there were 1,802 separate data breach incidents, compromising 425 million records. In 2023, there were 2,116 security incidents by October, surpassing the previous year’s numbers with still two months left. Using AI plays a huge role in the drastic rise of data breaches and other cybersecurity attacks. In this article, we will look at how hackers use AI to target and attack businesses.
Creating Convincing Phishing Emails
Hackers have found that generative AI tools are a fast and efficient way to churn out realistic phishing emails that can easily convince unwitting victims to reveal sensitive information. Using AI, it is now easy to create targeted emails that look so real that most people won’t suspect they are fake. Hence, even the more cautious employees now have a higher chance of becoming victims, ultimately exposing the business to cyber criminals.
Even the language barrier doesn’t help because of AI. Before, poor grammar and punctuation were immediate red flags for a phishing email. But now, AI technology has become fluent in so many languages that the text, regardless of the language, is almost flawless. Unless one is extremely vigilant, they will not find the threat. What’s even more alarming is that these phishing emails contain not only credible text, but many of them also include images, videos, and other media, which further adds to the genuine look of the email.
Generating Realistic Images and Other Media
Many of us have had fun and amusement with AI-generated images and videos—you know, those apps that create all sorts of versions of your picture. Some can even animate a photo and add sound to make it look like it is talking or singing. It’s all very entertaining, but hackers have quickly seen a different angle to this. Many of them have used these kinds of AI-generated media for illicit purposes.
For instance, you might receive a video call from one of your contacts on Messenger. You think you see them when you answer the call, but what you see is an AI-generated video clip of them trying to converse with you. This makes them more believable to the victim, who does not realize that hackers created it through AI.
How Hackers Use AI with Automating Attacks
AI software makes it easy for hackers to identify loopholes in a company’s security with hardly any effort. It can detect easily penetrable networks or flawed security systems. By unleashing this software all at once, multiple businesses are targeted, and the hackers will have a higher chance of a successful attack.
How Hackers Use AI By Designing Undetectable Malware
AI-generated malware can easily pass through the strictest security systems without tripping the alarms. Unlike previous malware forms, they equip those designed and created with artificial intelligence with extra features that shield them from the most watchful cybersecurity tools.
To avoid detection, these AI-equipped malware change their code or their behavior so that they do not arouse suspicion. Once this software gets through, it’s business as usual for the hackers to access the network as they please.
Getting Past Biometric Systems
Biometrics are highly secure, especially when compared to passwords. Because these security systems muse fingerprints and voice prompts, we assume only authorized employees can access their accounts. But then AI came along. With the ability to make remarkable copies of fingerprints and voiceprints, advanced AI technology enables hackers to deceive biometric systems.
Launching Elaborate Phishing Campaigns
Creating phishing emails is just one step in a phishing campaign, but all the other steps are now much easier with artificial intelligence. It begins with analyzing data from online sources, which is now done with AI algorithms. With access to such information, hackers will know the weaknesses of specific targets, enabling them to tailor the phishing attack accordingly. This makes the attack more likely to succeed. It seems like more work, but because it is all done with AI, it’s much easier for the hackers.
As you can see, there are countless ways that hackers use AI to hack into businesses. Awareness and understanding of these tactics are crucial for companies to protect themselves against these new forms of hacking.
With the help of an MSP that specializes in cybersecurity, you can keep your network safe and all your information intact. If you need to level up your cybersecurity system and stay one step ahead of the hackers, call us today. We will give you a free consultation, and then we can start fortifying your company’s security system. Download our E-book today which talks about the cybersecurity role of AI in security.