Into the future
We’ve all seen the movies about the future, and if you’re “well-seasoned” enough, you remember the Jetsons, who lived in the future all those years ago. The future is intriguing, unknown and mysterious as it, wide open with its seemingly infinite possibilities.
In many ways, though, we are already in the “future,” living out many of those things that people in the not-so-distant past could only dream of: electric, self-driving vehicles; flying machines–not just airplanes, but also drones; wireless gadgets like airpods; hoverboards; computers in our pockets; iWatches; Google Glass smart glasses; and the list just goes on and on.
It’s not stopping anytime soon, either. Now, we have AI chatbots that have taken the world by storm in recent months.
What is a chatbot?
Before we dive into all the frenzy and dangers inherent therewith, let’s explore just what it is we’re talking about here: what is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation, so that a person can easily have communication with a computer. They are used for various purposes in different industries, as banking and finance, insurance and healthcare, manufacturing and retail, etc. Some chatbots are used to engage in small talk while others are designed to handle more complex tasks as customer service or providing information.
A brief history of the chatbot
Chatbots were first in used in 1966 with ELIZA, which was created to be a caricature of human conversation, but it was so believable that users began confiding their inmost thoughts and feelings to ELIZA. Experts declared that soon chatbots would be indistinguishable from humans.
Over the years, chatbots have been developed to interact with us in even greater precision. Familiar chatbots are Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Google Now/Google Assistant. If you’re like most people, you like to have fun with these chatbots and ask them silly questions to see how they respond. Again, if you’re like most people, you actually rely on Siri or Alexa to find your music or make a call or order out.
Now, we have ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI and founded in 2021. ChatGPT can write articles, essays, posts, etc. as well as a variety of other tasks, including conversation generation and language translation.
It’s all fun and games until…
It’s all fun and games, kicks and giggles until you get attacked with a phishing email! As the future of technology powers on ahead, so do cybercriminals, finding ways to use AI for their sinister purposes. In fact, cybercriminals have worked that AI can make their phishing scams harder to detect and thus more successful.
What to do?
How can you keep yourself safe and secure against AI-backed phishing scams? The same way as always: with caution. Be cautious with emails. Read them carefully. Look out for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Make sure it’s the “real deal” before you click on any links.
Cybercriminals are using AI to generate unique variations of the same phishing lure. They’re using it to eradicate spelling and grammar mistakes and to even create entire email threads to make the scam more plausible.
Security tools to detect messages written by AI are in development, but they’re still a way off.
What that means is you need to be extra cautious when opening emails, especially ones you’re not expecting to receive. Always check the email address the message is from and double-check with the sender (and not by replying to the email in question!) if you have any doubt about the email.
You can also contact us to help you vet your emails or get your network secure. We are experts in cybersecurity and not only provide cybersecurity but also training therewith to help keep you and your organization safe online.