AIming for the top: Cyberattacks, investment and other AI disruption

Category: AI Blockchain Crypto

As the media has been buzzing about generative AI tools – which has led to a surge in fake images among other unintended consequences, malicious actors are exploiting the current AI hype to launch cyberattacks.

Hackers exploit generative AI popularity to hit unaware users

Hackers are using OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard to spread their malware-as-a-service, known as Redline Stealer, through Facebook groups. By claiming to have packaged the latest AI models into a small executable, hackers lure in non-tech-savvy users who download and execute the malware, resulting in the theft of their personal information and credentials.

Hackers first hijack the credentials of Facebook pages with large followings before engaging in a paid campaign to spread the word about free downloads of ChatGPT and Bard, which are actually malware. Redline Stealer is sold as-a-service on Darknet forums and Telegram groups for $150 to $800 per month or a lifetime subscription.

Instead of directly using the capabilities of LLMs, hackers use the hype surrounding the technology to execute attacks. As AI continues to gain popularity, these types of attacks are expected to increase in frequency.

Governments, regulators, and those in charge of AI development should take measures to prevent such attacks. Building awareness of the nature of LLMs and including education on AI models in the school curriculum could be potential deterrents.

Disrupting the status quo on the investment stage

The technology buzzwords of 2023 are artificial intelligence (AI) and deep fakes. Generative AI tools have become a popular topic in the media, and there has been an increase in fake images related disruption. ChatGPT is one of these AI tools, and it’s being treated as a sentient being on social media. AI has become a bright spot in the funding landscape, accounting for almost 20% of the funding in the first quarter of 2023.

In contrast, crypto venture capital (VC) investments have dwindled ever since the market crash and economic downturn, making investors cautious when looking at crypto projects.

The rapid pace of technological advancements has ignited a fervent investment race between AI startups and cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Web3 projects. With the advent of ChatGPT, generative AI startups have seen skyrocketing funding and valuations, leading investors to explore emerging startups for lucrative opportunities.

It doesn’t help other mainstream, emerging tech projects that AI projects are exceptionally driven by utility, while the alternative is often driven by community and viral tweets, despite frequent claims to the contrary. To add, AI ventures have found institutional backing from major tech companies such as Google and Microsoft, making them more essential for the future of technology.

Crypto may no longer grant exponential net worth boosts, but blockchain technology still has legitimate uses such as tokenized investments. However, self-custody is no easy task, and the constant need to be wary of scams and hacks in the crypto space makes investing risky.

The scarcity of AI expertise and startups in the field fuels aggressive competition among investors, resulting in bidding wars for AI talent and acquisitions. In the battle for funds between AI startups and crypto projects, both sectors are facing rising challenges in capturing investor attention and resources due to disruption from the other.

Despite this, projects like Ethereum, Cardano, and Polkadot continue to forge ahead, developing novel solutions and attracting niche investors. The competition between these two sectors could have dramatic consequences, potentially creating an AI bubble, hindering innovation and growth in the crypto sector, and depriving the world of potentially game-changing innovations.

Investors and companies alike must remain agile and adapt to the shifting dynamics to secure their place in the tech landscape. Ultimately, the outcome of this money bout will shape the trajectory of both industries, determining which innovations will dominate in the years to come.

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