Artificial intelligence (AI) is officially here. There are now AI tools and services that are publically accessible. While they open the doors to exciting new opportunities, however, they also pose risks — particularly in regards to cybersecurity. Bad actors may use AI to carry out cyber attacks against unsuspecting victims. AI is still in its early stages, but it poses several cybersecurity risks.

#1) Smarter Brute Force Attacks

AI could be used to perform smarter brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are designed to breathe password-protected logins. They involve the use of a program to spam random passwords. Rather than using random passwords, AI may be able to choose more relevant words and phrases. It may scan a victim’s computer, and using the information obtained from documents and settings, AI may spam words and phrases that could be the victim’s password.

#2) Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have been around for decades, but they may become more common in the wake of the AI revolution. Bad actors can use AI to create emails that look like they were written by a legitimate business or person of authority. The recipients of these AI-generated phishing emails may then reveal sensitive information.

#3) Vulnerability Finding

Bad actors may use AI to find vulnerabilities in computers and networks. Most cyber attacks begin with a vulnerability. Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that can be exploited. Outdated software, default passwords and open ports are all potential vulnerabilities. Using AI, bad actors may be able to scan computers and networks for vulnerabilities such as these.

#4) Audio Phishing

Audio phishing may soon become a reality with AI. When most people think of phishing, they envision emails. Emal is, in fact, the most common vector for phishing attacks. With the rise of AI, however, bad actors may soon use audio phishing. A bad actor may use AI to call the contacts on a victim’s smartphone while simultaneously impersonating the victim. The victim’s friends and family members may receive a call that “sounds” like the victim, but it will really be by the AI.

#5) Bot Attacks

There’s the potential for bot attacks with AI. Bot attacks, such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, may soon leverage AI. Normally, bots follow a specific pattern during these attacks. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems can look for these patterns to protect against bot attacks. But AI may allow bots to change their behaviors so that they are more difficult to detect and stop.