Hackers will use AI, MI to explore victims' network: Symantec

Hackers will use AI, MI to explore victims' network: Symantec

At a time when  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are much talked about and hundreds of startups are working in this space, global security leader Symantec said on Thursday that cyber criminals will use both AI and ML to conduct attacks.

"This past year, cyber criminals caused major service disruptions around the world, using their increasing technical proficiency to break through cyber defences. In 2018, we expect the trend to become more pronounced as these attackers will use  ML and AI to launch even more potent attacks," Symantec Director (Product Management and APJ) Tarun Kaura said.

Incidents like the WannaCry attack, which impacted more than  two lakh computers worldwide in May, are just the warm-up to a new year of more virulent malware and DDoS (A Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, he added.

Cyber criminals are poised to step up their attacks on the millions of devices now connected to the Internet of Things, both in offices and homes.

Blockchain is finding applications outside of crypto-currencies, expanding its functions in inter-bank settlements with the help of IoT gaining traction. However, these use cases are still in their infancy stage and are not the focus for most cyber criminals today, Kaura said.

"Instead of attacking Blockchain technology itself, cyber criminals will focus on compromising coin-exchanges and users' coin-wallets since these are the easiest targets, and provide high returns," he added.

Home IoT devices will be compromised by cyber criminals to provide persistent access to a victim's network. "Persistent access means that no matter how many times a victim cleans  his/her machine or protects the computer, the attacker will always have a backdoor into victims' network and the systems that they connect to," he said.

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