AI hallucinations and cloud threats: Darktrace predictions

Darktrace reveals its top predictions for AI and cybersecurity developments in 2024, which include AI worms, hallucinations and cloud concerns

With rising cyberattacks, threats and data breaches, the cybersecurity landscape has never been more fraught with activity.

Darktrace is expecting to see a continued rise in climate hacktivism, escalating multilingual AI threats and the first “AI worm” to cause real disruption to essential services around the world.

This year (2023), the company has seen the exploitation of key infrastructure, including elections through AI-generated deepfakes and propaganda, in addition to crucial government infrastructure being targeted as part of continued cyber warfare.

Technology Magazine hears some of the latest 2024 expert predictions from the cybersecurity company, as they forecast a year of significant challenge.

A pivotal year in the progression of AI

Darktrace surmises that 2024 will be a crucial year for democracy, as Russia, Ukraine, the UK and US all potentially undergo high stakes elections. 

Whilst the company cites the use of cyberattacks to manipulate voters as nothing new, it warns that next year could see a continued rise in AI-generated deepfakes to spread propaganda. In addition, Darktrace suggests that other techniques like the use of stolen political and electoral data could be resurrected, warning voters to be mindful of the content they consume and to consider the reputability of the source.

As far as businesses are concerned, Darktrace suggests that they will face additional AI dangers in 2024. The company cites that industry leaders will need to be wary of malicious actors, nation-states and ransomware groups who will only continue to leverage the widespread adoption of AI. 

It is critical that businesses prepare for this and the danger of advancing threats, says Darktrace. It highlights that 2024 may be the year the first AI worm will be deployed, which would combine traditional worming ransomware like WannaCry or notPetya with more advanced, AI-driven automation to create an aggressive autonomous agent that is capable of burrowing into business software.

Businesses will need to be aware of cyber vulnerabilities

Another prediction from Darktrace suggests that cyber threats could become more multilingual. It highlights how generative AI has dramatically dropped the barrier to entry for composing text in foreign languages, suggesting that attackers will be able to operate in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Hindi, for example. 

The company suggests that companies will need to look out for phishing emails written in languages that are not native to them. Darktrace alludes to the fact that phishing in new languages could potentially negatively impact businesses in the APAC region. 

Additionally, cloud environments are increasingly becoming a source of vulnerability for businesses, which is only expected to continue. Darktrace highlights how these platforms will become even more of a target for cybercriminals due to a shortage of expertise and skills in the cloud.

Darktrace also anticipates that 2024 will mark a year of climate ‘hacktivism’ as campaigners may target fossil fuel companies with AI-powered, sophisticated cyberattacks with the aim to disrupt.

Toby Lewis, Global Head of Threat Analysis at Darktrace, says: "2023 was a pivotal year in AI development and adoption. As governments and businesses have woken up to the AI revolution, so too have cyber criminals and we are seeing increasing evidence that they are seizing these tools for their own gain.

"This will only accelerate in 2024. Significant global events and trends will become a target for those looking to exploit and disrupt, while generative AI will open doors for more advanced multilingual attacks and climate ‘hacktivism’.

Lewis continues: "This underscores the need for advanced, AI-driven cybersecurity solutions. As bad actors become smarter and more sophisticated, businesses need to be equipped with the tools to prevent and protect, and the public be increasingly wary of their data and the content they consume."

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Other magazines that may be of interest - AI Magazine | Cyber Magazine | Data Centre Magazine

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