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Anne Valaitis, Jamie Bsales

The Insider’s Guide to Cybersecurity: The Expanding Role of AI in Hacking

Stay ahead of the fastest-growing concern in cybersecurity

Nov 13, 2023 7:00:00 PM


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In this series, in conjunction with Agile Cybersecurity Solutions (ACS, our cybersecurity testing and consulting partner), Keypoint Intelligence investigates the many facets of cybersecurity to deliver insight and strategy. On every Tuesday moving forward, you will have access to free tips and tricks, helpful hints, as well as solutions and tools, all to help you navigate the potentially treacherous waters of cybersecurity.



Hackers continuously search for new ways to exploit weaknesses and enter systems. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques is one such route they are aggressively pursuing. AI provides hackers with a variety of tools for automating assaults, developing advanced evasion techniques, improving social engineering tactics, cracking passwords, and developing stealthy malware.


AI enables hackers to automate several steps of an assault, streamlining and enhancing the process’s efficiency. Hackers can execute automated reconnaissance, scanning, and exploitation by utilizing AI-powered technologies, which can detect possible vulnerabilities in systems, networks, and applications, minimizing the time and effort required to carry out successful attacks. AI can also help hackers find trends and design more effective attacks by facilitating the study of massive amounts of data.


Social engineering attacks rely on exploiting human psychology to manipulate individuals into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that compromise security. AI can greatly enhance social engineering tactics by generating highly convincing and personalized phishing emails, messages, or voice calls. By analyzing communication patterns and mimicking legitimate sources, AI-powered tools can create deceptive content that is increasingly difficult for users to detect as fraudulent. This, of course, raises concerns about the potential for a higher success rate in phishing attacks, not to mention more sophisticated social engineering techniques.


The development of new evasion strategies capable of circumventing existing security measures is accelerating, too. Hackers can use machine learning algorithms to assess security defenses, find flaws, and devise tactics to defeat them—malware that adapts to its environment dynamically to avoid detection by antivirus software and intrusion detection systems are but two examples. With AI’s ability to learn and evolve, attackers can create potent malware that continuously alters its structure and behavior, making it more difficult for security systems to detect and respond successfully.


Passwords remain an established security measure. However, AI gives hackers an advantage in cracking them. Machine learning algorithms can analyze password patterns and develop more effective strategies for guessing, otherwise it will resort to brute force. AI-powered password cracking tools can use large datasets and statistical analysis to generate highly accurate guesses, significantly reducing the time required to crack passwords. This poses a significant risk to individuals and organizations that rely on weak or easily guessable passwords—and everyone knows this likely happens far too often.


For cybersecurity professionals, artificial intelligence’s potential in malware generation is a huge concern. AI can be used by hackers to construct complex malware that can adapt and evolve over time. Malware can examine the behavior of security systems, recognize patterns in their detection methods, and alter its own code accordingly to escape detection by implementing machine learning algorithms. This allows for the development of stealthy, self-learning malware that presents a serious challenge to standard security systems. So, by incorporating AI into malware development, attackers can stay one step ahead of the experts and antivirus providers.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

The increasing use of AI by hackers poses a significant challenge to cybersecurity in general and the world at large. Its capacity to automate attacks, improve social engineering techniques, devise advanced evasion tactics, crack passwords, and construct stealthy malware increases the potential damage to individuals, businesses, and vital infrastructures. To resist this threat, cybersecurity experts must constantly upgrade their defenses, create AI-driven security solutions, and apply proactive techniques to remain ahead of the dynamic threat landscape.


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