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AI increased Business Email Compromise attacks by 1,760% in 2023 – Report  

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GenAI

A report by cybersecurity platform, Perception Point, has revealed that there was a 1,760% surge in Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks in 2023 fueled by the advancement in generative AI.  

According to the report, through generative AI, cybercriminals craft creative emails that impersonate companies and business executives, fooling their victims into handing over their data and money. 

The report indicated that BEC attacks accounted for only 1% of cyberattacks in 2022. However, this number rose drastically to 18.6% last year. 

BEC is a type of cybercrime where the scammer uses email to trick someone into sending money or divulging confidential company information which can be used to defraud the company. 

Highlighting the findings in its Annual Report, Perception Point said AI has become a very powerful tool in the hands of cybercriminals. 

The cybersecurity firm added that organizations have also expanded their workspace technologies, integrating additional web-based productivity tools and SaaS applications making the browser the most used enterprise application.  

It, however, noted that this expansion has not gone unnoticed by cyber attackers, who have adopted increasingly sophisticated evasion techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in these digital ecosystems.  

Perception point pointed out, however, that GenAI was not the only tool attackers reached for in 2023. According to the company, there was also a considerable increase in phishing via malicious QR codes (“quishing”), comprising 2.7% of all phishing attacks.  

By using QR codes to disguise malicious phishing sites, attackers were able to bypass most traditional security measures.

Moreover, attackers also managed to exploit the inherent trust users have in QR codes, with a concerning 6% of all QR codes sent via email found to be malicious.  

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