Artificial intelligence is advancing at lightning speed, and these advances are not only set to reshape our very reality, they could leave many losing all of their savings, according to cybercrime expert Marc Maisch, who also works as a lawyer helping victims reclaim their lost savings after they fall victim on the web.
He warned in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper that authorities will be powerless to stop this new coming crime wave, which will see criminals use AI tools to fleece potentially millions out of their money.
“AI is a great tool, but of course cybercriminals also use it to create phishing emails in order to have ChatGPT write malicious code that can be used immediately. And we haven’t yet talked about deepfakes and voice phishing, i.e., faces and voices are recreated. We are currently seeing the start of a revolutionary development in cybercrime. Next year, the year after that, this will have reached a whole new level,” said Maisch.
With AI tools, cybercriminals may be able to deploy novel, machine-written code to steal personal information or hack accounts en masse. The advent of AI voice mimicry tools could also allow hackers to bypass voice authentication systems or trick family members into sending money.
Cybercrime has exploded in the last decade, and Europeans are increasingly the target of thieves.
Already in 2021, Germany’s Federal Office of Information Security (BSI) reported that cybercrime was higher in Germany than ever before.
Maisch says that cybercrime gangs are actually recruiting new employees openly on public websites, and in “Southeast Asia, there are human trafficking gangs that take people’s passports and force them to commit criminal acts.”
For example, they may tell them that “you first have to earn 100,000 euros and then you’ll get your passport back.”
Maisch says that even love scams can now become automated and target thousands of people at a time using AI chatbots, adding that “this is more profitable because the love scammer no longer has to devote himself entirely to one person and get them to pay, but he can scale and automate his scam and do it dozens of times at the same time.”
The cybercrime expert warned that one of the main issues is the global nature of cybercrime. One of Maisch’s clients was recently robbed of €800,000, and the police essentially discontinued the investigation.
“In the file, there is a discontinuance order which essentially states that experience shows that the perpetrators live abroad and are therefore difficult to catch, and there is not much that can be done. I wrote to the public prosecutor that it couldn’t be the case that the damage amount, which was almost a million euros, wasn’t being investigated at all. Then you could immediately say: The Criminal Code no longer applies on the internet. Cases like this really make me angry,” he told Welt.
In many cases, the police simply do not have the expertise or know-how to properly investigate cybercrime.
“I have the feeling that our police are underfunded and far too little is being done to strengthen international cooperation between law enforcement authorities.