By Sandip Sen

Around 2014, a machine learning algorithm was formulated called generative adversarial networks GANS that accurately authenticated audio and video takes of real people. The first high profile victim of this activity later known as deepfakes was none other than Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Few words in many of his video speeches were manipulated by GANS to make him sound like a buffoon and a political imbecile. The fake versions had over 90% original content with bits of manipulated text that was ridiculously incorrect but was difficult to detect as fake. By 2020 Open AI had tested the skills of Generative AI in multiple formats and by 2022 ChatGPT with a $10billion funding from Microsoft started stoking fears of Generative AI taking over the world.

However machine learning models that power generative AI are being also used to deploy malware across businesses and enterprise networks. Threat actors are using ML driven TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures) to circumvent standard security protocols. Generative AI has made distributed denial of service DDoS attacks easier as it helps process millions of independent requests for services within seconds overloading servers instantly. The malware could use variable AI models to mask its intention until it fulfils its purpose thus nullifying standard cyber defence protocols. This increased both quantity of attacks and reduced chances of detection.

The total number of DDoS attacks after the pandemic grew annually by over 200% in 2021 and 150% in 2022 globally and these attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex that cannot be detected by most  anti virus firewalls. Tesla’s massive data breach of 2023 was not conducted by external hackers but by disgruntled employees. They hacked it’s confidential data relating to employees , suppliers and customers and handed it over to a German news age daily. ActiveFence has tracked a 172% increase in the volume of shared CSAM (child sex abuse material ) produced by generative AI in the first quarter of this year. Over 3000 child predators are also using generative AI to create tutorials of their creations, which helps them gain credibility besides replicating sexual images and text messages, narratives and short stories quickly. 

In April 2023, ‘Anonymous Sudan’, a pro Islamic hacker group conducted simultaneous DDoS attacks on Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa and Kochi airports. The list is endless and the threats will multiply as AI powered tools will increasingly come into play. 

Part extract from article that appeared in Deccan Herald Bangalore in July 2023,within%20seconds%2C%20overloading%20servers%20instantly.

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