Microsoft and OpenAI Identify Five Hacker Groups Using AI Services to Improve Cyberattacks | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Several cybersecurity companies have already reported that hackers are now using AI tools to refine their techniques, and now, two tech majors that are considered to be synonymous with AI for the past few months are now naming the groups that are using chatbots to improve their cyberattacks. Both Microsoft and OpenAI have listed five state-affiliated malicious actors that are using services offered by the ChatGPT maker.

“We build AI tools that improve lives and help solve complex challenges, but we know that malicious actors will sometimes try to abuse our tools to harm others, including in furtherance of cyber operations. Among those malicious actors, state-affiliated groups—which may have access to advanced technology, large financial resources, and skilled personnel—can pose unique risks to the digital ecosystem and human welfare,” OpenAI said in a post.

The company partnered with Microsoft to disrupt these “five state-affiliated actors that sought to use AI services in support of malicious cyber activities.”

How hackers used OpenAI services for cyberattacks
Just like AI models are used to strengthen defences against cyber attacks, hackers are using the same tools for translating, finding coding errors and running basic coding tasks to bolster their attack mechanisms.

These include use of large language models for gathering actionable intelligence on technologies and potential vulnerabilities, scripting techniques, social engineering, payload crafting, anomaly detection evasion and resource development.

The five state-backed hacker group are:
China-affiliated Charcoal Typhoon used OpenAI services to research various companies and cybersecurity tools, debug code and generate scripts, and create content likely for use in phishing campaigns.


Salmon Typhoon, another China-affiliated group, used OpenAI services to translate technical papers, retrieve publicly available information on multiple intelligence agencies and regional threat actors, assist with coding, and research common ways processes could be hidden on a system.

Crimson Sandstorm, Iran-affiliated threat actor, used AI for scripting support related to app and web development and generating content likely for spear-phishing campaigns.

North Korea-affiliated Emerald Sleet used AI technology to identify experts and organisations focused on defence issues in the Asia-Pacific region, help with basic scripting tasks, and draft content that could be used in phishing campaigns.

Russia-affiliated actor Forest Blizzard used OpenAI technology for open-source research into satellite communication protocols and radar imaging technology, as well as for support with scripting tasks.


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