Beware! Criminals are using AI to steal your personal details

AI – An essential tool for criminals too!

With the wide use of artificial intelligence in various fields, expectations are high that it may become prevalent for attacking purposes than defensive ones.

Mark Testoni, the president and CEO of an enterprise security company, SAP NS2, said that hackers and criminals are highly skeptical just like the communities that develop defense systems for themselves. The techniques that the communities use, are used by hackers such as captchas and image recognition, development of malware, phishing and whaling, and many more. They are getting aware of when to hide and attack.

Criminals are covering themselves with the help of artificial intelligence, instead of covering behind masks to rob a bank.

“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.”

– Eliezer Yudkowsky

Different Uses of AI by Criminals

how criminals use AI

Here are the different ways by which criminals and hackers use AI for their benefit:

1. Harmful and Dangerous Drugs

Crimes such as trafficking, selling, buying, and possessing banned drugs are increasing which rely on AI planning and autonomous navigation technologies such as instruments for improving success rates of smuggling. Criminals are using unmanned vehicles that raise the business-to-business trafficking of drugs.

2. Chatbot related Cybercrimes

A chatbot is a trend as more than 50% of the people prefer to text than talk over the phone- according to Kaspersky. Crimes have made its place in that area too. Chatbots are programmed to start a conversation with users with the intention to sway them to reveal their personal financial or account information. In 2016, more than 1000 facebook users were tricked into installing malware that led to their accounts information being hijacked.

3. Creating Malware

Hackers are now able to develop undetectable malware with the help of AI. These help them to control webcams, steal, upload, modify and even manipulate files. Criminals write codes of computer viruses, use password scrappers, and other tools to execute their malware.

4. Phishing and Whaling

You might have received emails that didn’t look quite right such as, emails from someone claiming to be your bank, phone service calls, etc. Someone who knows some coding and HTML can do this without any difficulties. Machine learning improves the process of phishing by crawling any platform, learn and communicate the language, and produce a huge amount of fake emails based on certain observations.

5. Cracking Passwords

Neural networks in AI are used by criminals to detect and identify passwords. Passwords looking like this – “password” have a possibility to be guessed easily by machines. Criminals manage to crack a portion of the passwords with the help of neural networks. Today, it is easily possible for a machine to crunch on some numbers and predict unknown passwords.

Make sure to change your password to something like this – “28kV9&Po5” to be safe.

AI Crime Prevention

Here are some of the ways to detect or prevent crimes related to Artificial Intelligence:

  • Use in-depth defense mechanisms to defend against AI-based crime. Consider using more than one antivirus product on desktops, servers, mail agent transfers, etc. This helps to detect the crime easily.
  • Utilize management systems to evaluate the log data from protection mechanisms. For example – look for bizarre behavior such as systems trying to connect to other ones that normally would not have anything to do with each other.
  • Ensure systems have strong passwords that comprise alphanumeric, and special characters and change them over a period of 90 days.
  • Shut down unnecessary systems that are not being operated anymore. Tools and bots using AI/ML will hunt for systems with exploitable services first to attack other related systems.

Applications of AI in Crime Detection and Prevention

AI Security Cameras

In 2018, a Chinese company which is a major security camera producer, Hikvision, announced usage of chips from an intel company to create such cameras that run on deep neural networks.

They noticed that the new cameras were able to recognize faces, detect car license plates with the help of AI-based systems. The company now claims that it can achieve 99% accuracy with its advanced visual analytics applications.

Predicting Future Crime Spots

Predpol is a company that uses big data and machine learning to predict at what place and what time will the crime take place.

Their algorithms are based on historical data and observation where the majority of crimes took place. However, it limited its projections to where crimes could occur and ignored to take the next step of predicting who might commit it.

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Summary

Very soon AI will become popular among hackers. Cybersecurity is a vast and dynamic field, the reason for its popularity is the research being public where it is easy to obtain information on how to hack entire systems. In-built protocols can help to prevent this AI abuse to a large extent.

Lastly, we can say that AI can lead to a variety of criminal activities. But if we take proper preventive measures, the crimes can be avoided.

How was your experience regarding the article on the use of AI by criminals? Do share in the comments.

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