Security leaders say that AI and AI-based bots are already employed by many organizations to identify threats in high-risk environments.
AI-based tech for enterprise tech helps to identify potential threats in internal networks and software. However, cybercriminals are also leveraging AI tech-powered bots. These malicious actors have manipulated the tech to suit their requirements.
The new-generation bad bots are faster at detecting system liabilities and exploiting them for fraudulent activities. These bots are designed to search the internet for unpatched, compromised systems, and significant vulnerabilities.
The primary purpose of these bots is to identify and exploit users and their accounts. Such attacks are possible even on a well-protected system. Their activities include disruption of service, data stealing, spreading fake data, etc.
Cyber threats from malicious bots
Security leaders acknowledge that millions of spurious COVID-19 fake data were deleted from their network between April-June alone. While the numbers are high, but it’s no surprise as bots are built to spread inaccurate data via social media at a scale and frequency that humans fail to manage.
Wrong data doesn’t refer to misinformation on social media alone. It can significantly influence stock prices, tarnish a brand’s reputation, and degrade customer loyalty. Nefarious bots can act as clients or the organization itself. It results in negative reviews, false news about the brand or leadership decisions, etc.
CIOs say that apart from misinformation, bots also practice content scraping. It refers to bots downloading or “scraping” from a website to use it for fraudulent activities. Content scraping bots and web crawlers trawl the online space looking to steal valuable data to sell for profit.
This results in product pricing, promotions, details, and API data captured by bots and used for competitive purposes.
Hackers also deploy bots to steal credentials. Credential stuffing requires user password and login pairs obtained from the previous data breach to gain illegal access to a user’s different accounts. It is possible as the general public ends up using the same password and login ID across all accounts.
Most hackers sell verified login-password pairs to other criminals to launch follow-up data breach attacks once their requirement is satisfied.
Fighting the malicious bots
Bots have unrestricted access to applications and websites due to the open nature of the web. More than half the traffic on global websites is due to bots. Good bots help to enhance business tasks, data indexing, and content aggregation. However, these same activities can be used for wrong purposes by the nefarious bots.
Security leaders point out that cybersecurity strategies that aren’t designed especially for bots are ineffective against them. It calls for better software to detect bad bots and mitigate potential attacks as a must-have for organizations. CIOs believe that AI and ML-based tech are the best solutions for such bots fueled attacks.
Hackers change their tactics so often that it may become difficult even for AI tech to detect patterns as AI-based tech is as good as the data input. In such scenarios, manual intervention is required to differentiate between real and false events and irregularity classification.