Head of Digital Content, Aviation

June 21, 2018

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Artificial intelligence: the new cyber crime threat

The rising availability of artificial intelligence is posing a new cyber crime threat, a senior INTERPOL figure has told IFSEC 2018.

According to Silvino Schlickmann Jr, Assistant-Director Research & Innovation at the international policing agency, increased sophistication available to criminals such as chat bots will enable them to rapidly upscale the breadth of heir targets.

The machines can use natural languages now, talking to people who would never know they’re dealing with a machine. You no longer have one computer attacking one person. You can have one computer attacking hundreds of thousands of victims.

If you take AI and apply it to something like Blockchain, you can see how many transactions are made, what the amounts are. It’s information criminals can use easily.

However, AI and machine learning also play a vital role in protecting from crime, as well as catching criminals, said Schlickmann

It is an excellent data collection tool and it can help you to understand the bigger picture. Police can take this and try to identify money laundering schemes, for example.

A new family of malware or ransomware is created every single day around the globe, and the nature of the threat means that it can be very difficult to effectively police.

If you break into a house and steal a single key it will leave some evidence for the police. If you steal a refrigerator and it will leave more evidence. That’s not true in cyber space. Once you’re in you can do nothing, or steal everything, and leave the same amount of evidence. The size of the crime is no longer connected to the amount of effort required to investigate it.

Ransomware poses a particularly pernicious threat because it can target any individual rather than just large organisations.

You don’t need to be an important person, your data is important to you and criminals know that. Every single sector of our society is vulnerable to this attack. Criminals are targeting everybody and collecting the profit one by one.”

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