AI-Assisted Phishing Attacks Are on the Rise

AI Assisted Phishing AttacksThreat actors are increasingly using generative AI tools to improve their phishing campaigns, according to a new report from Zscaler.

“AI represents a paradigm shift in the realm of cybercrime, particularly for phishing scams,” the researchers write. “With the aid of generative AI, cybercriminals can rapidly construct highly convincing phishing campaigns that surpass previous benchmarks of complexity and effectiveness.

By leveraging AI algorithms, threat actors can swiftly analyze vast datasets to tailor their attacks and easily replicate legitimate communications and websites with alarming precision. This level of sophistication allows phishers to deceive even the most aware users. The potential of AI in reshaping the cyberthreat landscape appears boundless as it continues to redefine what is possible in the world of cyberattacks.”

The report also found that the finance and insurance industry saw a 393% year-over-year increase in phishing attacks in 2023. Nearly 28% of all phishing attacks last year targeted this sector.

“This industry is an attractive target for threat actors aiming to engage in identity theft or financial fraud,” the researchers write. “The increasing reliance on digital financial platforms provides ample opportunities for threat actors to carry out phishing campaigns and exploit vulnerabilities in this sector.”

Additionally, Zscaler observed an increase in phishing kits designed to bypass multi-factor authentication.

“Over the past year, a concerning trend has emerged where adversaries successfully circumvent enterprise multi-factor authentication (MFA) through adversary-in-the-middle (AiTM) proxy-based phishing attacks,” the report says. “In the coming year, we expect phishing kits to increasingly include sophisticated AiTM techniques, localized phishing content, and target fingerprinting—of course enabled by AI. These advancements will allow attackers to conduct high-volume phishing campaigns aimed at evading MFA protections at enterprise scale.” 

KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

Zscaler has the story.

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