AI-Powered Automation of Cybercrime

Apr, 2 2024
AI-Powered Automation of Cybercrime

In Germany, the threat from cyberattacks is currently higher than ever. On average, 9 out of 10 companies fall victim to cyberattacks, which caused immense damage of €206 billion in 2022.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has brought revolutionary changes across various sectors—including in the realm of cyber defense.


AI is used, for example, to automatically detect anomalies in network data and indicate security breaches. Systems like those found in many of our security add-ons have the ability to learn through machine learning to differentiate between normal activities and potential threats.


AI-supported software monitors user behavior and can identify unusual actions, making AI indispensable in incident management and the initiation of proactive countermeasures, such as during ransomware attacks.


However, AI is being used by cybercriminals to weaponize and automate cyberattacks. Cybercriminals with no technical background can easily use AI to create adaptable malware for malicious activities. Vulnerability identification, for example through missing patches, is fully automated with utmost efficiency, making AI-based attacks highly scalable in handling and speed.


Cybercriminals, increasingly established in recent years as ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) gangs, can thus steal and analyze vast amounts of data in a very short time and sell them profitably on the darknet. One thing has become clear in recent years: data is the new gold, and RaaS tools greatly facilitate criminals' entry into the cybercrime business. In 2023 alone, the number of victims in Europe has doubled due to RaaS.


AI-supported deep fake and voice cloning are increasingly used for social engineering and CEO fraud. AI algorithms are increasingly using extensive training data to bypass defenses such as antivirus software, thereby reducing the time window to close zero-day vulnerabilities and enabling cyberattacks to be carried out much more quickly. 

AI in Germany is used for both cyber defense and crime.

Conclusion: AI certainly has the potential to strengthen cyber defense through the deployment of next-generation measures. However, due to the misuse of AI by cybercriminals, there is a need to constantly adapt measures to strengthen IT security in companies to a changing threat landscape and to continue investing in IT security.


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