As much as we personify the items in our life, we should remember that they are just that: items. However, technology has made it so that these items seem to be getting smarter through artificial intelligence. The first computer to play chess against a human opponent was introduced in 1956, and ever since, humanity has strived to make progress in the field of AI. In fact, AI is so valuable that even hackers are trying to take advantage of it.
At a recent technology expo, an experiment examined a competition between a human hacker and a sophisticated machine learning computer, where they both attempted to spear phish potential victims through Twitter. For two hours, a fierce battle waged where they attempted to outdo each other and craft the best phishing message. At about 1.075 tweets a minute, the human made 129 tweets, including 49 successful attempts. The computer made 810 tweets in the two hours, averaging about 6.75 tweets a minute and converting about 275 victims.
Humans might have achieved a higher victim-to-attempt percentage, but the machine managed to achieve five times as many victims in the same amount of time.
A Cylance poll held at ConFab asked attendees if hackers will use AI for meaningful purposes, and the answer might surprise you. 62 percent confirmed that they thought AI would be used by hackers on the offensive. Even if nobody could mention specific incidents, most believe that hackers have already attempted to use AI for their cybercrime. The unfortunate part of this is that AI is an ever-changing existence that has become a global problem. This makes it difficult to develop law enforcement strategies, as it’s difficult to find and prosecute perpetrators. Even if they can find them, it’s a case of whether or not there is legislation put into place to punish those who abuse this technology.
Worse yet, there are arguments among experts about what specifically defines artificial intelligence--especially with so many people using virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. Some users might not classify these apps as AI, but they would be wrong.
Cybercriminals are always trying to use the most up-to-date technology, and AI is no exception. Hackers are using AI and machine learning to create programs that can personalize phishing emails containing malware attachments. In response to this threat, technology to distinguish real messages from the fake ones are developed. Cybersecurity is all about threats and hackers trying to outdo one another, which is why vulnerabilities are patched.
Would you consider using AI for your business? Let us know in the comments.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.