AI: The good, the bad and the ugly. The team discuss AI’s evolution over the past six months.

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Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 the cybersecurity world has been abuzz with talk of AI and its usefulness as well as the threat it poses.

In this episode of the podcast the team discuss how cybersecurity vendors are leveraging AI, what threats AI has brought to the technology landscape and what to be cautious of when using large language models.

Beth Maundrill also sits down with Sergey Shykevich, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Check Point Research, to dispel some of the myths around threat actors’ use of AI and what Check Point has observed over the past six months. Shykevich also provides his thoughts on the future of AI in cybersecurity. 



Searching for AI Tools? Watch Out for Rogue Sites Distributing RedLine Malware


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Malicious Google Search ads for generative AI services like OpenAI ChatGPT and Midjourney are being used to direct users to sketchy websites as part of a BATLOADER campaign designed to deliver RedLine Stealer malware.

“Both AI services are extremely popular but lack first-party standalone apps (i.e., users interface with ChatGPT via their web interface while Midjourney uses Discord),” eSentire said in an analysis.

“This vacuum has been exploited by threat actors looking to drive AI app-seekers to imposter web pages promoting fake apps.”

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Solar-Powered Biofuel That Produces Net Zero Carbon Emissions

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The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert CO2, water and sunlight into multicarbon fuels – ethanol and propanol – in a single step. These fuels have a high energy density and can be easily stored or transported.

Unlike fossil fuels, these solar fuels produce net zero carbon emissions and completely renewable, and unlike most bioethanol, they do not divert any agricultural land away from food production.

While the technology is still at laboratory scale, the researchers say their ‘artificial leaves’ are an important step in the transition away from a fossil fuel-based economy. The results are reported in the journal Nature Energy.

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FBI repeatedly misused surveillance tool, unsealed FISA order reveals

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The FBI repeatedly misused a surveillance tool in searching for foreign intelligence to use in cases pertaining to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and 2020 racial justice protests, according to an April 2022 court order publicly released Friday. 

The order, which was released by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, is significantly redacted but reveals thousands of violations of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the federal government to collect communications between certain targeted foreign individuals outside the U.S. 

The court has legal oversight of the U.S. government’s espionage activities. 

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Hackers Promise AI, Install Malware Instead

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Facebook parent Meta warned that hackers are using the promise of generative artificial intelligence like ChatGPT to trick people into installing malware on devices.

Meta on Wednesday warned that hackers are using the promise of generative artificial intelligence like ChatGPT to trick people into installing malicious code on devices.

Over the course of the past month, security analysts with the social-media giant have found malicious software posing as ChatGPT or similar AI tools, chief information security officer Guy Rosen said in a briefing.

“The latest wave of malware campaigns have taken notice of generative AI technology that’s been capturing people’s imagination and everyone’s excitement,” Rosen said.

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How Can the Intelligence Community Remain Indispensable to U.S. Policy Makers?

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EXPERT ANALYSIS — In an era of information overload, the rise of AI and machine learning tools, and intensifying competition with China, one question looms large: Is the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) effectively supporting U.S. policymakers? To explore this question, we at the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) carried out an extensive e-survey from 1-25 March 2023. We reached out to 299 current and former national security officials to evaluate the intelligence support they received from the U.S. Intelligence Community during their time in the government.

A total of 86 people took our survey. Of those who took the survey, 27.9% are still serving in the government, 22.1% served as recently as the last year, 25.6% in the last three years, and 20.9% in the last five years. Those who took the survey included senior leaders (41.9%), managers (20.9%), advisors (25.6%), and analysts (5.8%).  The respondents included, among others, a National Security Advisor, two Deputy National Security Advisors, general and flag officers from the various military services, including those who had commanded in combat or held leadership positions in the European and Indo-Pacific theaters, foreign service officers, civil servants, and political appointees.

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I Cloned Myself With AI. She Fooled My Bank and My Family

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Our columnist replaced herself with AI voice and video to see how humanlike the tech can be. The results were eerie.

The good news about AI Joanna: She never loses her voice, she has outstanding posture and not even a convertible driving 120 mph through a tornado could mess up her hair.

Maybe you’ve played around with chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, or image generators like Dall-E. If you thought they blurred the line between AI and human intelligence, you ain’t seen—or heard—nothing yet.

Over the past few months, I’ve been testing Synthesia, a tool that creates artificially intelligent avatars from recorded video and audio (aka deepfakes). Type in anything and your video avatar parrots it back.

Since I do a lot of voice and video work, I thought this could make me more productive, and take away some of the drudgery. That’s the AI promise, after all. So I went to a studio and recorded about 30 minutes of video and nearly two hours of audio that Synthesia would use to train my clone. A few weeks later, AI Joanna was ready.

Creating AI Joanna required a recording session and video shoot in a green-screen studio. Kenny Wassus/The Wall Street Journal

Then I attempted the ultimate day off, Ferris Bueller style. Could AI me—paired with ChatGPT-generated text—replace actual me in videos, meetings and phone calls? It was…eye-opening or, dare I say, AI-opening. (Let’s just blame AI Joanna for my worst jokes.)

Eventually AI Joanna might write columns and host my videos. For now, she’s at her best illustrating the double-edged sword of generative-AI voice and video tools.

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Looming AI catastrophes

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The “godfather of AI” quit Google and joined a growing chorus of experts warning that the rush to deploy artificial intelligence could lead to disaster.

  • Why it matters: When some of the smartest people building a technology warn it could turn on humans and shred our institutions, it’s worth listening, Axios global tech correspondent Ryan Heath writes in his debut.

Geoffrey Hinton, a top machine-learning pioneer, says he left Google so he can speak freely about the dangers of rushing generative AI products.

  • “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” Hinton, 75, told The New York Times(subscription).

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