- A new breed of less experienced cybercriminals is reportedly given the ability to weaponize and carry out ransomware and other malicious attacks more quickly due to a combination of AI tools, IABs, and as-a-service services.
- Cryptocurrency continues to be a common tool and target for cybercriminals.
In a recent analysis, Cybersixgill Ltd., a threat intelligence company, reveals distressing contemporary trends in cybercrime, such as a declining entrance barrier fueled by generative artificial intelligence services, including OpenAI LP’s ChatGPT.
The State of the Cybercrime Underground study was based on an examination of information gathered by Cybersixgill in 2022 from the open, deep, and dark web. To determine the present condition of threat actors’ strategies and targets, the research offers insights into the discourse and activity of underground cybercriminals. It compares it to data and patterns from earlier years.
The report’s most important result relates to how generative AI is making it easier for hackers to commit cybercrime by making it quicker for them to build malicious code and carry out other “pre-ransomware” preparations. Initial access brokers, commonly known as IABs, and as-a-service options are being added to the process, helping lower the entrance hurdles for cybercriminals.
In particular, the paper features ChatGPT, and it is noted that it provides legitimate users with many advantages beyond just being a tool for text production, such as the automation of software engineering chores, data analytics, predictive modeling, language translation, and creative writing. In addition, it provides less experienced scammers with a simple approach to creating dangerous code, convincing phishing emails, and other pre-ransomware preparation tasks.
A breed of novice cybercriminals is reportedly given the ability to weaponize and carry out ransomware and other malicious attacks more quickly due to a combination of AI tools, IABs, and as-a-service services. The experts at Cybersixgill predict that successful cyberattacks will become much more frequent and intense and that, in the coming months and years, AI-enabled cybercrime will probably become the norm.
Other findings show a decline in credit card fraud that claims “most of the world has experienced a near-collapse in credit card fraud.” However, it was observed that the UK witnessed an increase in fallacious card sales in 2022 and now reports the highest number of forged cards per capita worldwide.
Cryptocurrency continues to be a common tool and target for cybercriminals, which is not surprising. Malicious actors utilize methods such as digital wallet takeovers, cryptomining, and stealing digital assets from cryptocurrency exchanges to commit financial fraud. Cryptojacking is the illegal use of computing resources to mine cryptocurrencies.
The study also noticed that scammers were using encrypted messaging platforms more frequently. Cybercriminals increasingly cooperate, communicate, and trade tools, stolen data, and services via encrypted messaging applications such as Telegram, Discord, and QQ. Additionally, it was discovered that the chat services were being utilized as a launchpad for cyberattacks.
Delilah Schwartz, Security Strategist at Cybersixgill, stated, “Cybercrime is rapidly evolving, with new opportunities and obstacles in the cyberthreat landscape impacting threat actors’ tactics, tools, and procedures. In response, organizations can no longer rely on outdated technologies and manual processes to defend against increasingly sophisticated attacks. Proactive attack surface management informed by real-time CTI from the deep, dark, and clear web is now of paramount importance and will be a critical cyber defense weapon in the months and years to come.”