Can AI Help Fight Cybercrime?

Can AI Help Fight Cybercrime?

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Experts claim artificial intelligence could become a crucial asset in fighting the growing global risk of cybercrime, as published in a new study led by researchers from Charles Darwin University.

The study examined if generative AI could be used in penetration testing (also known as “pentesting”), which is a cybersecurity exercise that is meant to identify weak spots in a system’s defenses. The study, named “Generative AI for pentesting: the good, the bad, the ugly” was published in the International Journal of Information Security.

According to Techxplore, the researchers used ChatGPT to run a series of pentesting activities in activities of reconnaissance, scanning, vulnerability assessments, exploitation, and reporting. Come actions they took included trying to anonymously log into a server and download files, inspect source codes of webpages, and find data embedded within an archive.

Co-author and Senior Lecturer in Information Technology Dr. Bharanidharan Shanmugam explained that the study’s purpose was to explore whether artificial intelligence could be used to automate some pentesting activities. The results show that ChatGPT actually has enormous potential.

“In the reconnaissance phase, ChatGPT can be used for gathering information about the target system, network, or organization for the purpose of identifying potential vulnerabilities and attack vectors. In the scanning phase, ChatGPT can be used to aid in performing detailed scans of the target particularly their network, systems and applications to identify open ports, services, and potential vulnerabilities. While ChatGPT proved to be an excellent GenAI tool for pentesting for the previous phases, it has shown the greatest in exploiting the vulnerabilities of the remote machine.”

Dr. Shanmugam added while this tech could revolutionize pentesting, the industry must strictly monitor the use of artificial intelligence to improve cybersecurity.

He concluded that organizations must focus on responsible AI deployment, data security and privacy, and foster collaboration and information sharing. “By doing so, organizations can leverage the power of GenAI to better protect themselves against the ever-evolving threat landscape and maintain a secure digital environment for all.”