Hacker in dark room using laptop computer for cyber attack

How Scammers Are Utilizing Artificial Intelligence to Steal Data

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are trendy and forward-looking technologies with a huge potential that is not completely studied yet. Software developers use these technologies widely to improve a lot of processes.

However, not only software engineers use the benefits that AI brings. Hackers also started using it for shady activity. These days, hackers widely use AI to steal personal data.

Why do scammers steal data?

Personal information is a highly demanded product on the darknet. It’s an unindexed part of the Internet that is full of hackers.

Using personal information, blackhats can commit a lot of crimes. The list of personal details that scammers are interested in is large.

  • names;
  • addresses;
  • ZIP codes;
  • phone numbers;
  • email addresses;
  • passwords;
  • social security numbers;
  • banks accounts;
  • etc.

Most hackers collect personal details to sell them, unlike you’re a target to whom spear attacks are applied to.

Anyway, hackers don’t hesitate to use the benefits of AI to improve their shady processes. According to reports, the number of crimes committed by using AI has increased by 350% for the last year.

Ways hackers use artificial intelligence

The primary benefit of AI is that it improves productivity and brings more advanced technology in the world of blackhats. Keep on reading the post to find the most widespread ways hackers use artificial intelligence and machine learning to steal data.

Social engineering attacks

It is a well-known fact that the weakest part of any logical system is its user. Social engineering attacks are aimed to cheat users and drive them to provide secret information by themselves.

A lot of years ago, a large corporation was easily hacked by a social engineering expert. The hacker contacted a company’s representative, said that he is a technician who cannot access a server, and kindly asked to grant access. It worked!

These days, deep fake allows changing the voice so that hackers can call and cheat you with ease. Using AI, they can sound and act as your boss, for instance.

Phishing

In a nutshell, all programs are algorithms. Modern software solutions are super complicated algorithms. However, AI brings complexity to a new level.

Blackhats use AI to analyze the algorithms of automatic emails that are sent by companies. As a consequence, they can create identical fake emails that a common user will hardly detect.

These emails contain links to fake sites where users enter their personal data with no suspicion.

For instance, if you’re a student who asked your friends on social media, “Who can do my homework for money?” you can receive a phishing email one day. It could lead to a fake essay writing website that offers a 90% discount and wants you to enter your credit card credentials.

Spoofing

This type of hacking uses AI for spear attacks. Scammers use artificial intelligence to analyze a particular person in more detail. Usually, the targets are CEOs of large companies.

For instance, AI can analyze the manner of a person’s writing. Further, it helps to compose emails in a way how the target person does it. Using these emails, hackers try to cheat employees to get access to a company’s servers.

Using chatbots

In the modern era, people prefer chatting with each other. Chatbots are very helpful as they can keep a conversation, help customers, and increase sales.

However, chatbots aren’t always good. Some of them use AI to chat with users and drive them to share personal details or install malware on their desktops.

Developing malware

Yet, using malware is one of the most widespread ways of how hackers steal data. Unfortunately for blackhats, modern anti-malware software can detect and stop most of the attacks.

Thereupon, hackers use AI to create well-polished malware that can change their behavior. For instance, the simplest example of malware that can adapt is a malicious program that mines cryptocurrency on a victim’s desktop.

However, when a user starts a high-efficient program, the malware stops mining so that the user won’t detect a loss of a desktop’s computing power.

Discovering loopholes

Hackers steal data by using vulnerabilities of systems. They find any errors or bugs and exploit them to get access to other desktops or servers.

AI can reduce the time required for finding vulnerabilities from hours to minutes. It brings scammers more time to use the found loopholes before an unauthorized activity is detected and stopped.

Cracking password and captcha

Frankly speaking, password cracking isn’t related to AI. In such a case, a hacking program tries to pick a password, and it’s called a brute-force attack.

However, these days, most login pages are protected by captcha. Artificial intelligence helps crack them to keep the attack active.

Tips to protect your data

For starters, always store your data offline. For instance, if you prefer to store your documents’ scan-copies, save them on a flash drive or an external hard drive. Also, avoid using public Internet hotspots.

To keep yourself from phishing, never follow links in emails. Instead, open a browser and use a link that you always use to access a particular service. Also, don’t download attachments from unknown emails.

After all, don’t be shy to be suspicious online. One day, a double-check can save your personal data from stealing.

 

Staff Writer at CPO Magazine