Artificial Intelligence Makes Phishing Text More Plausible

AI PhishingCybersecurity experts continue to warn that advanced chatbots like ChatGPT are making it easier for cybercriminals to craft phishing emails with pristine spelling and grammar, The Guardian reports.

Corey Thomas, CEO of Rapid7, stated, “Every hacker can now use AI that deals with all misspellings and poor grammar. The idea that you can rely on looking for bad grammar or spelling in order to spot a phishing attack is no longer the case. We used to say that you could identify phishing attacks because the emails look a certain way. That no longer works.”

The Guardian points to a recent report issued by Europol outlining the potential malicious uses of AI technology.

“In Europol’s advisory report the organisation highlighted a similar set of potential problems caused by the rise of AI chatbots including fraud and social engineering, disinformation and cybercrime,” the Guardian says. “The systems are also useful for walking would-be criminals through the actual steps required to harm others, it said. ‘The possibility to use the model to provide specific steps by asking contextual questions means it is significantly easier for malicious actors to better understand and subsequently carry out various types of crime.’”

Max Heinemeyer, Chief Product Officer at Darktrace, said that AI technology will be particularly useful for spear phishing emails.

“Even if somebody said, ‘don’t worry about ChatGPT, it’s going to be commercialised’, well, the genie is out of the bottle,” Heinemeyer said. “What we think is having an immediate impact on the threat landscape is that this type of technology is being used for better and more scalable social engineering: AI allows you to craft very believable ‘spear-phishing’ emails and other written communication with very little effort, especially compared to what you have to do before.”

Heinemeyer added, “I can just crawl your social media and put it to GPT, and it creates a super-believable tailored email. Even if I’m not super knowledgeable of the English language, I can craft something that’s indistinguishable from human.”

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