Don’t get caught!

As each month passes, the online world seems to get evermore sophisticated.  And by sophisticated, we mean complicated. While ‘online’ has become an integral part of how we live and how business is conducted, nefarious use of this space has more than kept pace with our ability to combat it.  Or put more simply, online scams continue to increase.

And with the advent of AI, the use – and by extension, misuse of tech is forecast to go parabolic. It’s already being (mis)used by nation states trying to spy/influence each other, but equally, it’s being used by scammers who are targeting YOU.  Here is how it’s affecting some regular, ordinary, everyday people.

What does this mean? Once upon a time, the scammers wrote an email in rather poor English, or perhaps you received a call from someone with a very heavy accent trying to coerce you into doing something.  While these could be compelling, there were many telltale signs that made the eagle-eyed observer suspect they might be a scam.  What’s more, where human interaction was required, their scale was limited to the size of the scammers’ workforce (and some did have substantial workforces).

Now, with the advantage of Generative AI on their side, scammers can produce compelling, legitimate looking emails at an extraordinary scale.  What’s more, this technology can be used to respond to any targets that take the bait.  And you’re not safe from phone calls either.  The technology exists for an AI to have a conversation with you in a real human voice.  You can even get bots that will have a conversation with you in the voice of a celebrity, but I digress…

One thing that you can do to prepare is to keep up to date with these trends.  To that end CERT have produced a new website:  – one for personal and one targeted at small businesses.  It’s got a bunch of tools to help you stay up to date with online risks.  There is also a bunch of other resources such as this one that give advice on trends in online crime, and these are worth checking frequently.

All of this is a little bit like security at your house, the more steps you take to make sure your home is secure, the less likely you will be the victim a burglar picks on.

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