Most of us know about artificial intelligence and probably use it every day. We hear “artificial intelligence” and think of robots, acting and operating like human beings. We use personal assistants on our phones or in our homes powered by AI. But there is more to know about AI when it comes to security.
AI, artificial intelligence, at the heart of it all, is just a computer program, but that’s pretty simplified. Any computer program works by creating a command that causes the machine to do something, from checking spelling to calculating columns of numbers. AI works with programs called algorithms that compile, sort, assess, and determine results without any human involvement.
Within AI algorithms, commands are magnified so that the work is done automatically and then some. Instead of just calculating the numbers in a column, AI algorithms sort and assess the numbers so decisions can be made. The program takes those numbers, determines if they fit or not into a pre-programmed category, and then applies logic to determine the next steps.
For example, AI programs can monitor, send, assess, and direct an email marketing campaign. AI programs collect, track, and maneuver the data. So, if the number of responses collected from an ad campaign is less than 200, then the AI might follow commands to continue to send the email message from the server. Humans never enter the picture.
And this is the reason that hackers love AI. Hackers can “set and forget” their attacks. The Denial of Service (DoS) attack is an onslaught of hits to a site or emails to an account, and they clog the page or account so that it stops working. AI works great to find sites to target, push the messages, and hide any tracks which fall under AI and Security domain.
The power of AI to collect data also works for hackers who data mine the internet. They send programs run by AI to sift through massive quantities of data to find information that proves useful to them. The gigantic amount of data AI can process versus a human is mind-boggling, and hackers can do more damage in less time by harnessing this tech.
Hackers also love to use AI to create viruses. Once a program enters into a victim’s computer, the goal is to replicate and exist to either break the system or steal from the user. AI allows these viruses to operate independently from a human manager so that they can enter into a system, perform their malware or illegal business, and automatically send or retrieve data.
Those Who create AI algorithms and programs have an awesome amount of power at their fingertips. In the wrong hands, that power can cause great harm. The power of AI to harm or help really depends on who operates behind the scenes, sitting in the programmer’s chair. Luckily, just as AI can create viruses, malware, and attacks, it can also be used to prevent these. Today’s security suites and programs that control AI algorithms stop hackers’ attacks that utilize this tech.
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