A jointly developed new report by Europol, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and Trend Micro looking into current and predicted criminal uses of artificial intelligence (AI) has been released. It provides law enforcers, policymakers and other organisations with information on existing and potential attacks leveraging AI and recommendations on how to mitigate these risks.
The report concludes that cybercriminals will leverage AI both as an attack vector and an attack surface. Deep fakes are currently the best-known use of AI as an attack vector. However, the report warns that new screening technology will be needed in the future to mitigate the risk of disinformation campaigns and extortion, as well as threats that target AI data sets.
For example, AI could be used to support:
- convincing social engineering attacks at scale;
- document-scraping malware to make attacks more efficient;
- evasion of image recognition and voice biometrics;
- ransomware attacks, through intelligent targeting and evasion;
- data pollution, by identifying blind spots in detection rules.
The paper also warns that AI systems are being developed to enhance the effectiveness of malware and to disrupt anti-malware and facial recognition systems.
The EAST Payments Task Force is focussed on payment issues related to social engineering, malware, ransomware and other cyber threats, and notes that this report is an important step forward in assessing the rapid evolution of cybercrime.
The three organisations make several recommendations to conclude the report:
- harness the potential of AI technology as a crime-fighting tool to future-proof the cybersecurity industry and policing;
- continue research to stimulate the development of defensive technology;
- promote and develop secure AI design frameworks;
- de-escalate politically loaded rhetoric on the use of AI for cybersecurity purposes;
- leverage public-private partnerships and establish multidisciplinary expert groups.
For more information and to download the report visit Europol’s website