Hackers use AI for a new type of security breach

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With cybercrime on the rise, more people are spending money to prevent and combat it creating exciting investment opportunities

October is quite the busy month. Not only is it the start of the fourth quarter and the third-quarter earnings season, but October is also Cybersecurity Awareness Month. So, today I’d like to raise some awareness on a new type of cybersecurity breach.

During the coronavirus pandemic, cybercrime has risen by over 600%, and now the malicious hackers are becoming more creative by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to evade detection.

For example, with AI, hackers are now using data poisoning to target data used to train the machine learning systems. Simply put, data poisoning attacks the training software used to control the prediction techniques of the machine learning models.

When hackers attack this software, they can manipulate the results into performing the wrong task, like labeling spam emails as safe.

This method is used frequently by cybercriminals to aid in phishing scams. 94% of malware delivered in 2019 was via email — so you can see the danger of attacking ML training software.

Data poisoning can also spread from model to model, so it is crucial to catch it early in order to stop the spread. It’s why cybersecurity experts are currently working on guidelines to ensure the data quality of AI and ML systems.

Hackers also abuse the otherwise helpful tool of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). GANs are simply two AI-generated computers that “argue” with each other, one that mimics human-created data and the other that points out the errors in the data. Together, they essentially can manufacture the human-created content.

Cybercriminals use GANs to distract AI models away from attacks and then extract private data. Even worse, once they have the coding to do this, it takes less than an hour to automate the AI models. They can also train bots to manipulate AI algorithms in a similar fashion. In addition, GAN models can guess passwords and fool facial recognition technology.

The good news is that cybersecurity experts are on top of these hackers. With frequent new updates and AI algorithms, cybersecurity GANs can evolve and easily learn to recognize and point out these new attacks.

How to combat hackers

With cybercrime on the rise, more people are spending money to prevent and combat it. This provides investors exciting opportunities to profit in the cybersecurity space.

But to make real money, it’s all about investing in the best cybersecurity company. And I believe I’ve found just the one. It provides unified security solutions that can be deployed over digital networks to protect users against malware, spam and network intrusions. And it uses protective AI to analyze over 100 billion security events to help stay ahead of potential cybersecurity threats. This gives it a major advantage over competitors.

So, it’s no surprise that the company’s stock has been on a strong run this year. In fact, while the S&P 500 is up about 8% year-to-date, the stock has nearly tripled the index’s performance — up 24%.

This cybersecurity company is set to report its third-quarter earnings results at the end of the October, and I expect them to be nothing short of stunning. Both earnings and sales are estimated to rise 16% year-over-year. The company has a strong track record of earnings beats, as its bested analysts’ estimates every quarter since the third quarter of 2016. Analysts have revised expectations higher over the past three months, and because positive analyst revisions typically precede future earnings surprises, another earnings surprise is likely.

With that in mind, I look for the stock to really start firing on all cylinders following its third-quarter earnings report. So, now is the time to invest before it takes off. 

Louis Navellier