Artificial intelligence may be playing a role in the rising number of cyberattacks, according to cyber threat intelligence firm Check Point Research.
Analysts at the firm tracked an 8% increase in cyberattacks over the second quarter, the largest since 2021. While a variety of factors were blamed in Check Point Research’s report, one of the biggest contributors to the rise is generative artificial intelligence, which encompasses tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard. Generative AI can be used to rapidly write or summarize content, allowing scammers and hackers to create phishing emails en masse, quickly analyze data and even reliably code software.
There are even platforms that leverage artificial intelligence exclusively for the purpose of aiding hackers in their misdeeds. WormGPT, a recently launched generative AI tool, is one such service. “This tool presents itself as a blackhat alternative to GPT models, designed specifically for malicious activities,” security researcher Daniel Kelley explained to The Hacker News. But hackers hardly need to turn to underground resources to find software capable of making their “jobs” more efficient. In a separate report, Check Point Research noted that Google Bard could also be used to develop “malicious” code such as keyloggers and ransomware.
While artificial intelligence has opened the door for faster programming and content creation, it has also created new opportunities for scammers and hackers to launch faster and more sophisticated cyberattacks. Nevertheless, as much as AI has exposed weaknesses in digital security, it could also prove to be the solution. Tighter security and better oversight of AI-powered platforms would prevent malicious use, while software that can automatically identify AI-created material could prevent attacks before they even begin. While progress on cyber security in the wake of artificial intelligence has been slow, experts, legislators and developers will need to work closely together in the coming years to prevent cyberattacks from increasing in their scope and impact.