A recent revelation from the VIPRE Security Group unveils a new and perilous era of email security. The use of generative artificial intelligence (AI), exemplified by ChatGPT, and the surging popularity of cloud services have thrust spam and phishing emails into a formidable spotlight.
In this gripping narrative, link-based malware deliveries take center stage, constituting a staggering 58% of all malicious emails in the latest quarter. The remaining 42% don the cloak of treacherous attachments.
Cloud storage services, once considered benign, have taken an unexpected turn, becoming a favored vehicle for malspam delivery. They now account for a whopping 67% of all such methods. Meanwhile, the 33% balance is maintained by legitimate yet compromised websites.
Enter the era of generative AI and chatbots, where email phishing has acquired an unsettling sophistication. It used to be the telltale signs of poor grammar, spelling blunders, or awkward formatting that revealed the nefarious intentions. Not anymore. With AI at their side, hackers now craft meticulously-worded messages, virtually indistinguishable from benign ones, pushing victims to employ extra safeguards against this rising menace.
VIPRE unveiled a jaw-dropping 233.9 million malicious emails in the third quarter, a digital deluge of danger. Within this deluge, 110 million carried malevolent content like a sinister secret, while 118 million disguised their threats within malicious attachments. As if from a hacker’s laboratory, 150,000 emails emerged with unique behaviors, a testament to the relentless evolution of their tactics, always striving for peak malevolence.
Phishing and spam, it seems, are the enduring adversaries in this digital battleground. They remain cost-effective and have the potential to ensnare a multitude of unsuspecting victims. To counter this menace, businesses are urged to educate their workforce about the perils of phishing and encourage thorough scrutiny of every incoming email, regardless of the sender’s identity.
In this thrilling saga of evolving threats and cutting-edge AI, the digital world braces for a new era of cybersecurity challenges.
Read next: Profit Peaks and Plummets: The Third-Party ChatGPT App Saga Unveiled