Generative AI and Cybercrime – Threat scenarios in cyberspace are facing dramatic changes due to two overlapping trends: the ongoing technological revolution and the growing commercialization of cybercrime. Generative AI applications will soon fundamentally change the way we work, learn and interact with our environment. Generative AI is accelerating its activities in a world where cybercrime is becoming more commercialized and threat actors can use clever tools to commit crimes. The threat posed by the combination of generative AI and cybercrime will grow in the future.
In this context, the link between generative AI and cybercrime plays a crucial role. Cybercrime is becoming increasingly commercialized, and threat actors are using clever crime tools, such as illegal Telegram channels and specialized darknet markets, to buy and sell ransomware, malware, infected devices, stolen user data, and other illicit goods. Generative AI is accelerating its activities in a world where cybercrime is becoming more commercialized and threat actors can use clever tools to commit crimes, making the combination of generative AI and cybercrime even more dangerous.
The ever-growing capabilities of threat actors are a continuous threat to online security as they adapt to the latest technologies and security protocols. Malware and threat infrastructures are programmed and sold on the black market as a
where they are very profitable for threat actors. The stolen user data can be used for a variety of purposes, including identity theft, fraud, extortion, and ransomware attacks, which are amplified by the integration of generative AI and cybercrime.
The combination of these two trends can lead to very dangerous situations. Threat actors can combine stolen data with generative artificial intelligence to launch even more effective attacks. Generative artificial intelligence can be used to create fake emails or other communications that are even more convincing than traditional phishing emails. We expect cyber criminals to quickly market and leverage large-scale language models (LLMs), making generative AI and cybercrime even more intertwined.
On generative AI to AGI and cybercrime?
Ethically questionable generative AI may cause a variety of dangers in cyberspace in the near future, especially in relation to generative AI and cybercrime. For example, deepfake technologies can be used to create convincing fake videos of people depicted in compromising situations, which can lead to blackmail or reputation damage. In addition, the combination of generative AI and cybercrime can also contribute to the creation of tailored disinformation campaigns aimed at creating political instability or manipulating public opinion. Overall, the unethical use of generative AI can undermine the integrity of information in cyberspace and compromise the security of individuals, companies, and even nations.
In the long term, the development of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) – AI that possesses human-like cognitive capabilities – could pose even more far-reaching threats to cybersecurity, particularly with respect to generative AI and cybercrime. An AGI might be able to improve itself and expand its capabilities, leading to a rapid evolution and potentially uncontrollable intelligence explosion. In the wrong hands, such AGI could allow cybercriminals to quickly and effectively defeat security systems and encryption algorithms that are currently considered secure. This would change the entire cybersecurity landscape and make it much more difficult to protect data and systems from cyberattacks.
Moreover, AGI controlled by cybercriminals could not only amplify existing threat vectors, but also create entirely new forms of cybercrime, exacerbated by the combination of generative AI and cybercrime. For example, they could develop advanced attack techniques that were previously unimaginable, such as penetrating complex autonomous systems or manipulating AI-driven decision-making processes. AGI could also be used as a powerful tool to conduct cyberwarfare between nations by attacking and destabilizing critical infrastructure, or used for mass surveillance and population suppression. To counter these serious threats, it is critical that the international community work together to develop effective regulations and security measures for the responsible use of AGI in cyberspace, particularly to address the growing challenges of generative AI and cybercrime.
In the future, threat actors will be able to set up automated and individualized spear phishing and cybercrime campaigns with very little human effort or involvement. In light of these developments, regulators must act quickly to Prevent the misuse of generative AI, especially in the context of generative AI and cybercrime, by cybercriminals and ensure online safety. This includes developing guidelines and standards for the use of AI technologies, establishing monitoring and early warning systems to detect misuse, and working with international partners to share best practices and common approaches. In addition, education and awareness programs should be launched to make the public aware of the risks of generative AI and cybercrime and provide them with the necessary knowledge and tools to effectively protect themselves from such threats. Finally, it is critical that both companies and individuals are aware of the growing link between generative AI and cybercrime and take appropriate security measures to protect their data and systems from attack.