High Yield Phishing Campaigns using Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that is primarily concerned with building machines capable of detecting and performing multiple tasks requiring human cognition. For example, these machines are built to perceive dangers around their environment and solutions to it to achieve the company’s goals or organization. Intelligent machines are built in a way that they are capable of imitating the cognitive ability of a human to learn, comprehend, solve, and apply. Artificial intelligence can be utilized in organizations to detect and protect systems of an enterprise from phishing attacks.

Phishing Attacks in Large Corporations

A phishing attack is a process whereby a fraudster is trying to send some scam designed email to a victim to steal some personal information from the victim. The information could be a bank account, pin, password, etc. During the process, the fraudster tries to act like a genuine person from a certain organization or like a reputable person. The following are examples of phishing campaigns commonly used to steal from the organization.

Don't Get Hooked by Spear Phishing Attacks - Big Fish Technology

Spear phishing; this type of phishing that targets a small group or an individual. They try to lure the victim into accessing vital information like bank accounts or the transfer of funds. Firstly, these cybercriminals gather a lot of information concerning the target group before they hit. Sometimes these false emails come from the target coworker who knows how the target group operates. The attackers create malicious websites where they trick the victim into clicking on fake URL and filling in their data. When the cybercriminal has found all the necessary information needed from the victim, he/she then attacks either their bank account or system.

Spear phishing is most common on social media pages like LinkedIn, where cybercriminals can use several data sources to hit a target group.

What's the Difference Between Spear Phishing and Whaling? - Spambrella

CEO Fraud or Whaling; this is a type of spear-phishing attack that mainly targets senior business executives. In this case, attackers try to lure business executives and steal their login information. This type of fraud is done by creating a compromised business email whereby the attackers can authorize the CEO to fraudulent conduct wire transfer to any financial institution. This type of attack happens because the CEO does not involve security awareness training with their junior staff. 

Voice or Voice phishing; this is a phishing campaign where cybercriminals send text messages to the victims trying to get their personal information. These criminals often use fake caller id to make calls appear as they come from the legit organization.

Deceptive phishing; it’s a type of phishing where the attacker disguises to be someone from a legitimate company in an attempt to steal personal and essential information or login credentials. The attackers mostly use emails with threats to manipulate the victim to do what the fraudster wants. A good example is whereby PayPal scammers could send out an attack email to a user instructing him/her to tap on a link to change some information with their account. Without any second thought, the user clicks on a link without knowing it’s a fake PayPal account from the fraudsters trying to steal from him.

Smishing attacks are a type of attack where a fraudster sends a malicious text over the phone to trick the users into clicking on a suspicious link or giving the attackers their personal information. Smithers disguise to be an employee to a particular organization. In February 2019. Nokia Company warned its users to be keen with the smishers masquerading to be Finnish Multinational telecommunications and sending text messages to their clients informing them they have won a car or money. For the car to be delivered, the winner has to send some registration payment for their new car.

Later in the year, a woman succumbed to cancer, who later fell into the hands of smashers. The fraudsters deceived the woman that she has received a federal grant to aid her in her treatment. However, for this federal grant to be credited to the woman, she had to submit down payment and pay taxes on the grant first, the criminal told her.

Pharming phishing; is a type of attack where the fraudsters alter with the data network system by converting the alphabetical website name, e.g., www.amazon.com, to numerical IP addresses. When the website alphabets are changed without the user’s knowledge, it redirects the users to malicious websites of their choice. The website user gets trapped when he attempts to fill in his login credential to the new website, which he is not aware of. Once the domain has been altered with the fraudster, there is nothing that the user can rectify even if he tries to enter the correct site name. 

Phishing Campaigns

Phishing campaigns are important because they provide technology solutions that can help employees and employers during the crisis’s emergence. For example, phishing campaigns educate employers and employees on detecting phishing emails or malicious links from cybercriminals. Furthermore, these campaigns help train employees on how to recognize, avoid, and report any threats that can alter the organization’s data and system. The company should also warn the employee from publishing sensitive personal or corporate information on social media platforms.

To avoid vishing attacks from cybercriminals, users should evade answering calls from unknown people or unknown numbers. And also, users should avoid sharing their personal information with strangers over the phone. When the users implement these simple instructions and procedures, there could be minimum vishing attacks happening.

To fight against CEO fraud or Whaling attacks, the company’s shareholders should ensure that all company personnel participates in security awareness training, including CEOs. Organizations or corporates should implement multi-factor authentication channels into their financial procedures to deter any payment through email. 

The success of deceptive phishing depends on how the fake email resembles the genuine email; thus, all users who have online accounts should be cautious to inspect URLs to check if the links redirect them to malicious webpages. The users should also be very keen to check if there are grammar mistakes, spelling errors that can arise throughout the email.

Before falling into the hands of the smisher, the users should do some research about the unknown number before complying. The users should also call the mentioned company to check whether they are responsible for the actions.

To protect users against pharming attacks, organizations, together with the corporates, should advise employees to log in their credentials to HTTPS sites, which are highly protected, unlike the other sites. Corporates should also establish anti-virus software that is capable of detecting malicious websites. And lastly, companies, together with the organizations, should be in the front line to upgrade their security systems.

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Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) To Perform Better Phishing Campaigns

There have been various cybersecurity threats from cybercriminals who try to access the organization’s confidential credentials and business executives. These threats are made by sending fraudulent emails to the recipient by luring him/her to provide vital information or login credentials of the company or his/hers. When the user fails to comply with the attacker’s instructions, they threaten him/her to block their accounts or account of the organization. These fraudsters disguise to be employees of legitimate organizations. For these cybersecurity threats to be minimized and controlled, there is a new technology tool that companies should implement, which is called Artificial Intelligence. This tool is designed to detect any malicious activity, and it can also solve the activity; in other words, the tool has been designed with human cognition. Organizations and corporates can use AI strategy from different perspectives.

Artificial Intelligence can be used to detect systems vulnerability and also any other malicious activities. Traditional systems are outdated and cannot keep up with the sheer number of malware created each month. Regarding this, AI intervene and resolve these issues. 

Machine Learning in Cyber Threats Detection 

Organizations should detect any cyber-attacks before starting to counteract. Machine learning, such as AI, is exceptionally essential in detecting cyber threats from cybercriminals. This machine is capable of analyzing and finding the threat before leveraging a flaw in the information system. AI cognitive can learn and understand the improvements that should be made to evade cybersecurity attacks from fraudsters. In cybersecurity perception, a machine learning tool can detect threats and identify anomalies better than any human being would.

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Artificial Powered Password Protection and Authentication

 The establishment of passwords to a computer and any gadgets have always been a weak solution to control cybersecurity threats. Passwords can be hacked and bypassed by attackers since it’s the only link between cybercriminals and the user. Software developers are using AI to protect computers against cyber threats hence safeguarding the information of the company.

AI and ML in Phishing Detection and Prevention Control

Phishing is the most common attack used by cybercriminals to steal from people. AI and ML play a crucial role in moderating and thwarting phishing threats. AI and ML can detect and respond to any cybersecurity threat faster than a human being. These tools can also detect and monitor any phishing threats around the world. AI can also allow fast distinction between a fake and valid website. By utilizing AI, organizations will rapidly detect probably defend themselves against the most well-known sorts of phishing assaults. That doesn’t mean they will detect every single phish. Phishing is continually developing to embrace new structures and methods. Bearing that in mind, associations must lead security mindfulness preparing on a continuous premise so their workers and chiefs can keep steady over phishing’s development. In the current online protection climate, malicious attackers utilize progressively advanced calculations and expanded strategies, blacklists, rules, and conduct based digital activities. As such, receptive measures are not, at this point, enough. Associations need to rapidly recognize where interruptions happened, the reasonable assault vectors pushing ahead, and how to rapidly remediate misused weaknesses, all in an abbreviated window of reaction time.