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AI’s double-edged sword: Technology making hacking easy for non tech savvy people, warn US officials | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


In a digital era marked by technological leaps, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) comes with both opportunities and challenges. On Tuesday, in a stark warning, top US law enforcement and intelligence officials raised concerns about the dark potential of AI. Speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University in Manhattan they suggested that artificial intelligence’s evolution could amplify the risks associated with hacking, scamming, and money laundering. 

AI can help scams

Speaking at the cyber security conference, Rob Joyce, the Director of Cybersecurity at the National Security Agency, said that AI is now being employed by less technically savvy individuals to execute hacking operations that would have been beyond their reach otherwise. 

Joyce, as reported by Reuters, emphasised the worrisome development and said, “It’s going to make those that use AI more effective and more dangerous.” 

However, on a somewhat optimistic note, he acknowledged that AI advancements are aiding US authorities in uncovering malicious activities.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is already witnessing a surge in cyber intrusions attributed to the diminished technical barriers facilitated by AI, revealed James Smith, the Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, during the conference.

More than just hacking

The potential implications extend beyond hacking, reaching into the realm of financial crimes, according to top federal prosecutors. Damian Williams, the US Attorney in Manhattan, pointed out that AI could empower individuals who do not speak English to craft convincing messages, to scam unsuspecting victims.

Breon Peace, the US Attorney in Brooklyn, delved into the unsettling territory of AI-generated “deepfake” images and videos. He expressed concern that such sophisticated content could deceive banks’ identity verification systems, that are designed to prevent money laundering. Peace cautioned that this could enable criminals and terrorists to exploit the financial system at scale, “undermining the system of controls that we have developed for decades”.

(With inputs from agencies)

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