Application Security

11/16/2018
10:00 AM
50%
50%

AI Poised to Drive New Wave of Exploits

Criminals are ready to use AI to dramatically speed the process of finding zero-day vulnerabilities in systems.

Artificial intelligence has significant potential for use in cybersecurity – on both sides of the security battle lines. And you don't have to wait for scenarios out of "The Terminator" to see its impact.

According to Derek Manky, Fortinet's chief, security insights & global threat alliances, AI's use by attackers is a simple matter of economics. "Looking forward, cybercriminals will be looking at increasing their ROI. I think what we'll start to see is the concept of AI fuzzing," he says. "We've seen some interesting research on this."

"Fuzzing" – among a series of predictions in Fortinet's Q3 2018 "Security Prediction Report" – is a technique that has its roots in software quality testing.   The system (or component) being tested is given random input until it crashes, and then the crash is analyzed. From an attacker's point of view, fuzzing can uncover vulnerabilities to exploit.

"Discovering vulnerabilities is still quite manual, very human-driven," Manky says, which makes finding them an expensive process. AI can dramatically speed up the fuzzing process, and it's already been proved in other contexts. "Groups have applied this to gaming, using AI to hack the game and exploit a weakness," Manky says. Moving that experience to finding security exploits is a natural next step.

Attackers can use AI to dramatically shorten the time from finding a problem to creating an exploit, as well. Groups will be "using AI to study code and systems to find vulnerabilities, and then using AI to find the best exploit of those vulnerabilities," Manky says. "This is automatically creating zero-days."

AI, in this context, is a tool for finding the vulnerabilities and exploits, not orchestrating attacks. As that tool is used by more criminal organizations, Manky sees detecting and exploiting zero-days becoming faster and easier, with the cost of those exploits becoming lower and lower on the black market. "From a cybercriminal perspective, the AI becomes a commodity with zero-day mining systems. Zero-days become less expensive and more accessible to hackers," he explains.

Defending a more porous and exploited attack surface is a matter of getting all the basics right, Manky says. "From the CISO perspective, it becomes more important for your patch management to be good, and open collaboration becomes more important," he says. In addition, designing zero-trust architectures that are thoroughly segmented is critical. "You don't want a successful attack gaining access to the rest of the network," Manky explains.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Higher Education: 15 Books to Help Cybersecurity Pros Be Better
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
'PowerSnitch' Hacks Androids via Power Banks
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/8/2018
Worst Password Blunders of 2018 Hit Organizations East and West
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
10 Best Practices That Could Reshape Your IT Security Department
This Dark Reading Tech Digest, explores ten best practices that could reshape IT security departments.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-1848
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
IBM Business Automation Workflow 18.0.0.0 and 18.0.0.1 is vulnerable to cross-site scripting. This vulnerability allows users to embed arbitrary JavaScript code in the Web UI thus altering the intended functionality potentially leading to credentials disclosure within a trusted session. IBM X-Force ...
CVE-2018-1977
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
IBM DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows 11.1 (includes DB2 Connect Server) contains a denial of service vulnerability. A remote, authenticated DB2 user could exploit this vulnerability by issuing a specially-crafted SELECT statement with TRUNCATE function. IBM X-Force ID: 154032.
CVE-2018-18006
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
Hardcoded credentials in the Ricoh myPrint application 2.9.2.4 for Windows and 2.2.7 for Android give access to any externally disclosed myPrint WSDL API, as demonstrated by discovering API secrets of related Google cloud printers, encrypted passwords of mail servers, and names of printed files.
CVE-2018-18984
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
Medtronic CareLink 2090 Programmer CareLink 9790 Programmer 29901 Encore Programmer, all versions, The affected products do not encrypt or do not sufficiently encrypt the following sensitive information while at rest PII and PHI.
CVE-2018-19003
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-14
GE Mark VIe, EX2100e, EX2100e_Reg, and LS2100e Versions 03.03.28C to 05.02.04C, EX2100e All versions prior to v04.09.00C, EX2100e_Reg All versions prior to v04.09.00C, and LS2100e All versions prior to v04.09.00C The affected versions of the application have a path traversal vulnerability that fails...