Ransomware Attacks Surge as Generative AI Becomes a Commodity Tool in the Threat Actor’s Arsenal

Ransomware Group TargetAccording to a new report, cybercriminals are making full use of AI to create more convincing phishing emails, generating malware, and more to increase the chances of ransomware attack success.

I remember when the news of ChatGPT hit social media – it was everywhere. And, quickly, there were incredible amounts of content providing insight into how to make use of the AI tool to make money. At the same time, cybercriminals also took notice, seeing the value of such tools to aid in every step of an attack.

And according to new data from cybersecurity vendor Barracuda’s latest report, ransomware attackers are reaping the benefits of AI, with the number of attacks reaching new heights in 2023.


Source: Barracuda

Municipalities, Healthcare, and Education sectors saw the greatest increases, while many other industries saw less dramatic jumps.

Barracuda researchers hold that AI is the key here, making entrance to becoming a cybercriminal rather easy:

With these changes, the skill required to start a ransomware attack could be reduced to constructing a malicious AI prompt and having access to ransomware-as-a-service tools, leading to a whole new wave of attacks.


With the lowest hanging AI fruit being well-crafted social engineering emails to trick victims into engaging with malicious links or attachments, it stands to reason that this new evolution in the state of attack requires an equivalent response on the part of organizations to shore up their defenses – the most appropriate of which is security awareness training as the direct counterpart fend of improvements in phishing emails.

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Topics: Ransomware

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