Cybersecurity is a manpower constrained market – therefore, the opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) automation are vast. Frequently, AI is used to make certain defensive aspects of cyber security more wide reaching and effective. Combating spam and detecting malware are prime examples. On the opposite side, there are many incentives to use AI when attempting to attack vulnerable systems belonging to others. These incentives include the speed of attack, low costs and difficulties attracting skilled staff in an already constrained environment.
Current research in the public domain is limited to white hat hackers employing machine learning to identify vulnerabilities and suggest fixes. At the speed AI is developing, however, it won’t be long before we see attackers using these capabilities on a mass scale, if they don’t already.
How do we know for sure? The fact is that it is quite hard to attribute a botnet or a phishing campaign to AI rather than a human. Industry practitioners, however, believe that we will see an AI-powered cyber-attack within a year; 62% of surveyed Black Hat conference participants seem to be convinced in such a possibility.
Many believe that AI is already being deployed for malicious purposes by highly motivated and sophisticated attackers. It’s not at all surprising given the fact that AI systems make an adversary’s job much easier. Why? Resource efficiency point aside, they introduce psychological distance between an attacker and their victim. Indeed, many offensive techniques traditionally involved engaging with others and being present, which in turn limited attacker’s anonymity. AI increases the anonymity and distance. Autonomous weapons are the case in point; attackers are no longer required to pull the trigger and observe the impact of their actions.
It doesn’t have to be about human life, either. Let’s explore some of the less severe applications of AI (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Tripwire Guest Authors. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/featured/artificial-intelligence-cybersecurity-attacking-defending/