AI DANGER! Artificial intelligence being used to carry out malware attacks, warns FBI | Tech News

AI DANGER! Artificial intelligence being used to carry out malware attacks, warns FBI

FBI has issued a warning against AI malware attacks that hackers are increasingly taking advantage of. Know the risks and ways to protect yourself.

| Updated on: Aug 01 2023, 14:47 IST
AI malware
From hacking, phishing, to online scams, bad actors are increasingly using AI-powered malware to commit cybercrimes. FBI has issued a warning. (Pixabay)

The generative artificial intelligence revolution has brought new avenues of growth and potential for massive advancements, but along with that have come new threats to security and privacy. Recently we have seen instances of cybercrimes emerge where criminals and bad actors have been leveraging generative AI for malicious purposes. Just last month, a man in Thiruvananthapuram was scammed of Rs. 40,000 after the scammer used deepfakes to impersonate someone the victim knew. These crimes, which now use advanced AI malware, have risen so much that even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the USA had to issue a warning to the public to raise awareness of such crimes.

According to a report by PCMag, The US agency held a meeting with journalists to discuss how generative AI malware is fueling cybercrimes. We expect over time as adoption and democratization of AI models continues, these trends will increase,” one official was quoted as saying. While the agency did not name any particular platform, it did highlight that criminals were leaning towards free, customizable, and open-source platforms. Private hacker-developed AI programs have also become popular in this niche, as per the report.

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How AI malware is used by cybercriminals

There are different ways hackers and scammers are using AI technology to fulfill their malicious plans. One of the most popular methods includes using AI to create deepfakes of people the victim might know and to fool them. Software is capable of creating fake videos of people as well as changing the voice to resemble them. Such video and audio calls are then used to fool unsuspecting victims, like in the case mentioned above.

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But things get worse. Another method includes using AI to create malware. These can be phishing tools, spyware, ransomware, trojan viruses, and more. These programs have existed for a long time and some are still in circulation. However, they take a lot of time to create and perfect, and once they are caught, it takes a while before the new one enters the market. But with the advent of AI, creating such programs take minutes and existing programs can also be improved so they can become stealthier and bypass recognition. The worst of them is polymorphic malware, which is said to even evade antivirus programs.

How can you protect yourself?

1. Be very vigilant when using the internet, especially when checking emails, or clicking on a link. These are the prime sources for spreading malware.

2. Never open an email from someone you do not recognize. Similarly, do not click a link that is unfamiliar.

3. Try not to keep any sensitive information or financial data on your computer. If you must, make sure to keep an up-to-date antivirus and keep them behind a password-protected folder.

4. Enable 2FA authentication on your smartphone to keep it more secure.

5. If approached over call by anyone who asks you to make a financial transaction, treat it with suspicion. Do not proceed till you are 100% sure after proper, in-depth, verification.

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First Published Date: 01 Aug, 14:46 IST