Artificial intelligence has found many excellent uses in business in the past year. In particular, generative AI chatbots based on the large language model (LLM), like the currently very popular ChatGPT from OpenAI, are now being used by cybersecurity companies to respond to customer service requests, create presentations, manage meetings, write emails, and do many more tasks instead of hiring employees to do the same jobs. This, and hundreds of similar AI tools, have made work simpler, faster, and more efficient for businesses worldwide.
But hackers have also been leveraging this impressive technology for their own illicit purposes. It was not very easy at first because ChatGPT and the other popular LLMs from Google and Microsoft all come with preventive measures, making them impossible to use for cybercrime. Clever as they are, hackers eventually found a way by creating their own LLM-based AI tools, such as WormGPT.
The Birth of AI Tools Made for Hacking in Cybersecurity
Tired of attempting to circumvent security measures in mainstream LLM chatbots, cybercriminals developed their own AI-based tools. These chatbots, specifically made for hacking, were first mentioned in the Dark Web in mid-2023. Eventually, word spread, and it was quickly being promoted over Telegram. For many of these chatbots, interested users had to pay for a subscription to get access to the tool. Some are used for a one-time purchase.
Generative AI tools appealed quickly to hackers in cybersecurity because they did most of the job for them, usually much faster, more efficiently, and with better quality. Before, hackers had to have skills or undergo training to perform the different aspects of cybercrime well. But with AI taking care of these tasks, even untrained individuals can launch an online attack using these tools.
How Hackers Use AI Tools for Cybersecurity Attacks
Creating Better Phishing Campaigns
Hackers used to write phishing emails themselves. Because many of them are not native English speakers, it is usual to see glaring grammar and spelling errors in these emails. These are among the easiest red flags people use to identify fraudulent emails. But with AI tools like WormGPT, those telltale signs no longer apply for cybersecurity.
With these nefarious tools, all the hackers must do is describe what they want written, and the tool will produce it for them. The result is quite impressive because it is frequently free of errors and written with a convincing tone. It’s no wonder these scam emails have been very effective.
Gathering Data on Potential Victims
Finding information about target victims used to be a meticulous and lengthy process. Most of the time, it had to be done manually, which is inefficient and prone to mistakes. AI technology gave hackers a means to gather relevant information without exerting much effort, if at all. They must unleash the tools with the use of AI algorithms, all the details can be collected quickly, sorted, and put to use in their hacking agenda.
The original generative AI chatbots can write code. This has proved very helpful for businesses as they can create their own original simple software without hiring an entire IT team. There was a time when hackers only comprised highly skilled software experts using AI tools, even beginners could come up with formidable malware, which can cause damage in the millions of dollars.
How to Protect Against AI-Powered Cybersecurity Attacks
AI tools for hacking are still in the early stages. The peak is yet to come, so we can only expect to see more risks from these malicious tools in the future. They will become more destructive, more efficient, and more accessible to hackers.
To stay protected against these developments, businesses should enhance their defenses as early as now. Here are some ways to do just that.
- Use an AI-based cybersecurity system to defend against AI-based cyberattacks.
- Implement Multi-Factor Authentication for added security.
- Conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training that includes data on AI-based online attacks.
- Keep your network security updated.
- Monitor developments in LLM-based activities, particularly those relevant to threat intelligence.
- Ensure that you have a robust incident response strategy.
Artificial intelligence has been valuable to our lives in many aspects. But since hackers also use it for online crimes, businesses need to be extra vigilant. If you need help setting up a dependable security solution against AI-based attacks, we can help you. Just let us know and we can have a dependable MSP come right over to draw up a cybersecurity solution tailored for your company that can thwart any AI-based attack that comes around. Also don’t forget to Download our E-book today which talks about the cybersecurity role of AI in security.