Be Careful- Evil Chatbots are Real!

The danger of malicious chatbots could be around the corner as hackers continue to hone their skills by taking disadvantage of the advancement in technology. There are already fears of AI and automation enslaving the human race, and stealing jobs if not that. Hackers are largely exploiting the development of machine learning to tap into the unexplored characteristics of chatbots for the worse. They are using chatbots to trick victims into giving away sensitive data and clicking dubious links. Moreover, they are expected to use natural language processing and machine learning to intelligently respond to users and ask them to share their personal data for seeing hackers’ evil intentions to completion.

Malicious Chatbot Attacks to Increase with Rising Use in Social Engineering Campaigns

Malicious chatbots have now made it to the top of the list of security threats in 2019. Previously, they did not receive much attention from the IT industry. Nevertheless, they could be a very real threat to security in the coming years, given that up to 80% of enterprises are likely to use chatbots in a couple of years or so. Opportunistic cybercriminals are expected to harness chatbots for their less-than-honorable ends, now that even human voices can be imitated and poetries can be written using AI.

Since consumers and businesses rely on chatbots, hackers could use this opportunity to achieve their selfish goals, although chatbots are not used full-fledged in social engineering campaigns. The value of chatbots in malicious activities is anticipated to grow as they become more efficient in emulating natural human language.

Compromised Chatbots to Use Advanced Technology to Socially Engineer Human

Compromised chatbots have not been identified on a considerable scale yet. However, there are a handful of activities documented in the past that signify the involvement of chatbots in cybercrimes. For instance, an America entertainment company admitted in June that a customer service chatbot it used had become malicious due to malware infection. Personal information of customers collected by this chatbot was transferred to an unknown third party. According to the CTO of a U.S. network security company, such incidents are likely to take place even more in the near future.

The most basic of all bad chatbots that lack intelligence may not worry much. However, there is a high concern over the use of automation, machine learning, and AI to create malicious chatbots. Such advanced infected chatbots will be able to socially engineer humans actively, that too in an automated fashion.

Network security experts advise people to be cautious about malevolent chatbots that seek sensitive information and direct users to harmful external domains. However, it is the primary duty of affected websites to safeguard users against malicious chatbots. Infected chatbot attacks largely depend on the user’s trust in the websites they visit.

Blog Author

Steven Chopade
April 26, 2019

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