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The vast development of Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed our lives, making things much easier and faster than before. AI is not a new idea. ChatGPT has been available to everyone, increasing the popularity of AI models.
Despite the many benefits that AI has brought, it has also been a breeding ground for cybercriminals. A cybersecurity AI company Darktrace survey revealed that 68% of 300 C-level executives believe cybercriminals will use AI for impersonation and spear-phishing attacks. Common cyber threats have taken on a whole new level of sophistication.
Common types of cyberattacks
Cyberattacks can take various forms and have unique methods and objectives. One of the most common types is phishing, where bad actors trick people into sharing sensitive information like passwords or credit card details. They do this by sending deceptive emails or creating fake websites that look real.
Another prevalent type of cyberattack is malware, which refers to malicious software designed to gain unauthorized access or cause damage to a computer system. Malware can be viruses, worms, or Trojan horses, spreading through infected files, email attachments, or compromised websites.
Ransomware has emerged as a severe threat in recent times. In this attack, the attackers lock up your files and ask for money to unlock them. These attacks can be devastating, causing financial harm and leaking sensitive data, affecting regular people and businesses.
The evolving threat landscape
The threat landscape constantly evolves as cybercriminals adopt new techniques and exploit emerging technologies. With the rise of AI, attackers now have access to powerful tools that can automate various stages of an attack, making them more efficient and difficult to detect.
AI-powered cyberattacks may use advanced tactics like impersonation, employing tailored malware to mimic user behavior and language learned from email and social media data. This could lead to compelling messages that are hard to differentiate from honest communication. As a result, even cyber-aware individuals may face increased vulnerability as these attacks become more sophisticated.
AI raises significant concerns about creating deep-fake, altered audio or video clips that seem real but are artificially generated. In 2019, an attacker utilized AI to mimic a CEO's voice during a phone call, defrauding a UK energy organization of $243,000. Deep fakes can be exploited for disinformation or blackmail, causing reputational damage.
AI algorithms can bypass traditional security measures such as CAPTCHA or intrusion detection systems. By analyzing patterns and adapting their behavior, AI-powered attacks can evade detection and compromise systems without raising suspicion.
AI-powered attacks can leverage machine learning algorithms to analyze large amounts of data and identify vulnerabilities in computer systems. By automating the process of finding weaknesses, attackers can launch more targeted and effective attacks, increasing the success rate of their exploits.
IoT-based cyberattacks are increasingly common. The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has created unimaginable opportunities for cybercriminals. Insecure IoT devices can be exploited to access networks or launch attacks.
Attackers are increasingly carrying out supply-chain attacks. They target organizations' supply chains, aiming to compromise trusted vendors and suppliers to gain access to target networks or distribute malware.
Finally, as more businesses move to the cloud, attackers focus on exploiting vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure and services.
Graph: Potential scenarios of AI-enabled cyberattacks worldwide as of 2021 (Statista)
In the age of AI, cyberattacks are getting more complicated and tricky. People and businesses must always be watchful, update their cybersecurity defenses, and get the right tools and training to guard against new threats.
By understanding different cyberattacks and AI's role in advancing them, we can act ahead of time to protect ourselves and our businesses.