WormGPT AI is accelerating more convincing phishing emails from hackers. You’ve probably heard of ChatGPT or Google Bard. These AI chatbots create everything from code to emails to songs or reports on demand. Commercial AI chat tools have guardrails in place to promote ethical use and content. And with all of ChatGPT’s flaws specifically—sometimes outputting convincing assertions that are false or even prone to political bias—it hasn’t caused major cybersecurity concerns like WormGPT AI has.
Instead, these commercial tools are positioned as platforms to make life easier. Think Google’s new AI tool, helping Gmail users write their emails. Still, there’s growing public scrutiny about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence as experts continue hailing it as the biggest game-changing development since the internet.
The latest sea change has made people more wary of what they see and read online. After an AI-generated video of an attack on The Pentagon was posted from a fake Bloomberg Feed Twitter account and instantly went viral—sending a sizeable wedge of the nation into a frenzy of panic and shock—federal agencies are looking for ways to protect the public.
Misinformation on the internet has already made it harder to find verified news or research and made everyone more apprehensive about trusting media outlets. What if there was a tool to make phishing emails and misinformation more believable?
Enter WormGPT AI.
What is WormGPT AI?
A new ChatGPT-styled tool is helping hackers make more convincing phishing attacks in quick batches. It’s called WormGPT, and tech journalists are labeling it ChatGPT’s “malicious cousin,” “evil twin,” and “alter ego”. The tool was first reported being for sale on a hacker forum in July 2023, promoting WormGPT AI as a blackhat “alternative” to the popular chat tool.
WormGPT AI enables criminal cyberactivity and the sale of information online. And it’s reportedly trained in data sources like malware-related information. There’s still a lot we don’t know. The malicious chat tool’s specific datasets are unknown.
But it’s clear that WormGPT AI is helping hackers generate faster and more convincing phishing emails with malicious code intact.
WormGPT is known as the rogue ChatGPT with no ethical boundaries or limitations. The malware writing service has already racked up almost 2,000 users, paying anywhere from $60 – $700 for access.
Now is the time to prepare for WormGPT AI fueled phishing attacks.
A massive WormGPT tidal wave could spike phishing attacks to record levels.
This year, 33M data records are expected to be compromised due to phishing attacks, and that may be a far cry from the eventual fallout with the latest AI developments. Government agencies, school districts, healthcare providers, legal groups, financial institutions, and other more highly regulated organizations are increasingly becoming bigger hacking targets. Bad actors are looking for valuable personal data they can sell at a higher price point that social media and retail sites can’t provide.
Pre-Worm GPT phishing is already the cyber crime hackers use most often, sending upwards of 3.4B emails daily. They rank second among the most common data breach causes—accountable for 90% of corporate cybersecurity breaches.
Even more alarming, 70% of employees fall prey to phishing attempts on average. These scam emails have a click-through rate that’s six times higher than legitimate marketing messages. And while your talent is your greatest asset, they can also be your biggest point of vulnerability. Phishing attacks currently rack up $15M in annual large business costs. A growing number of hackers streamline business email compromise (BEC) attacks with AI-smart phishing emails, but you can act too.
Read on to learn a few proven approaches to protecting your workforce and your bottom line against oncoming WormGPT AI emails and other phishing attacks.
1. Limit WormGPT scams with email verification.
Email verification is the process of checking and authenticating emails you’ve received to ensure the message and sender’s credibility. With email server security authorization configurations, your business automatically gains an extra layer of protection against phishing attacks. Email verification identifies and blocks forged senders and unauthorized emails. With an average of 3.4B phishing emails dispensed from the great unknown daily, having front-of-line protection is more important than ever. Leveraging a tightly managed sender authorization process, you can implement whitelisting as necessary while reducing the number of phishing emails that hit your company inboxes.
2. Empower employees with Cyber Awareness Training.
Maintaining an ongoing dialogue around cybersecurity is important. So is alerting team members of suspicious email or dangerous types of emails that are on trend. While WormGPT AI can generate more convincing phishing emails, with quarterly cyber awareness training, employees can learn how to spot red flags and report potential scam messages before they become a problem.
While your employees might think so, spam filters and email verification aren’t enough. Team members need to be trained on the right best practices, policies and protocol to follow with strict adherence. Your teams must be educated on why strong passwords and regular credential changes are critical to shielding your organization and their personal data against bad actors.
Cyber awareness training can also help business members recognize growingly convincing scam emails created with or without WormGPT AI. They must understand how to spot increasing sophisticated emails from hackers and understand the growing relevance of WormGPT. Employees need to be educated on the types of information that shouldn’t be shared. You need them to know the levels hackers will go to in order to impersonate people in positions of power—whether that’s C-suite executives at your organization, board members, partners, or even public figures.
Cyber awareness training needs to be an ongoing initiative, with regular quarterly trainings. These recurring trainings can keep cybersecurity top of mind. They also expose employees to the latest types of cyberattacks and trends, like WormGPT AI, and how they can impact the business and your customers.
3. Stay ahead of WormGPT with Dark Web Screening.
The internet can be a scary place. That’s in large part due to the dark web hogging up to 90% of the world-wide web. Bad actors can purchase databases full of compromised banking logins, sensitive business information, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and user credentials to uncover more accounts and data. And with employees working hybrid and remote and BYOD approaches in full swing, they are more vulnerable than ever. Your employees save sensitive details across dozens if not hundreds of websites, applications, and media platforms.
Dark Web Monitoring is more critical than ever with an unprecedented and constantly escalating level of cyberattacks and new ways for hackers to gain access, like WormGPT. With Dark Web Monitoring you can respond sooner to any exposures. Quickly discover any compromised credentials floating around the dark web, so you can act immediately before bad actors do damage to your business, customers, and employees.
Hackers are willing to pay for WormGPT and other AI services to use against you. Investing in a cybersecurity strategy now can prevent you from expensive attacks in the future that include costly fines, legal fees, and lost customers and productivity.
Assess your cybersecurity strategy. Fruth Group has you covered.
Connect with one of Fruth Group’s security experts and learn how you can protect your business from disruption. Fruth cybersecurity services experts keep a pulse on the latest malware and phishing threats and trends, like WormGPT, and will support you in navigating and selecting the right level of security for your business.