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AI-based cyber attacks and banks

Finan­cial insti­tu­tions are fre­quently the target of fraud­sters. Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) is a very inter­esting field for cyber-crim­i­nals, too, enabling them to design their attacks in an increas­ingly sophis­ti­cated manner.

“All the hype about chat GPTs sees cyber-crim­i­nals becoming quite cre­ative”, the US cyber secu­rity com­pany Palo Alto net­works found. The organisation’s threat research team has uncov­ered numerous fraud attempts. Using fake web­sites or by crim­i­nals exploiting AI to pre­tend they are your boss, they are trying to per­suade employees to per­form urgent pay­ments. “Chat GPT frauds are on the increase”, these experts conclude.

The Bun­de­samt für Sicher­heit in der Infor­ma­tion­stechnik (BSI) is wor­ried that AI will be used for future decep­tion attempts, using “faked voices or videos”. Crim­i­nals can for instance fake voices and leave manip­u­lated voice mes­sages from an appar­ently well-known tele­phone number in a bank employee’s or bank customer’s mailbox. Video record­ings can be faked, too. The only thing AI doesn’t manage so far is to imi­tate live video or audio con­ver­sa­tions, Nviso hacker Lei­decker says. “Still, that could change in the future, since tech­nology is devel­oping fast”.

Com­pa­nies using AI see them­selves con­fronted with new vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties. In a chapter headed “KI wird gehackt – sys­temische Anfäl­ligkeiten einer expandierenden Tech­nologie” (KI is being hacked – sys­temic vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties of an expanding tech­nology), the Swiss Re rein­sur­ance com­pany warns in its Sonar report for 2023 of just this. Not only are pro­fes­sional hackers able to manip­u­late models to create errors and data breaches; they can also manip­u­late data, so that pre­mium cal­cu­la­tions for instance can be distorted.

Pro­tect your­self by...

  • dis­closing as little infor­ma­tion about your­self as pos­sible. It is on social net­works in par­tic­ular that you should divulge infor­ma­tion very sparingly.
  • being wary when receiving requests by e-mail or tele­phone. Even e-mails from known senders and tele­phone calls received from familiar tele­phone num­bers can be fake!
  • treating e-mail and text mes­sage attach­ments with great caution.
  • con­tacting your finan­cial insti­tu­tion in case of any uncer­tain­ties or ambiguities.

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