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How AI Threatens Your Business Payment Process

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The Trustketeer
4 min read
20 September, 2023
How AI Threatens Your Business Payment Process

Generative AI has taken off in recent years and these tools are transforming the way organizations conduct business. While some advancements in generative AI are creating business efficiencies, several were built explicitly to assist criminals in their wrongdoing and are being used for deception. Tools like ChatGPT, Deep fakes, Voice cloning, and Chatbots offer threat actors the ability to produce fabricated content that mimics executives and other authorities that make financial decisions, opening the door for social engineering attacks, phishing, impersonation, and many activities that can result in business payments fraud.  The remarkably realistic output of these tools makes it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fraudulent actions, especially as these technologies become increasingly sophisticated over time. 

The growing prominence of these technologies is troubling. These tools generate content that appears so authentic that discerning real activities from counterfeit ones is very difficult, particularly as these technologies continue to advance. Given the swift evolution of AI, it is imperative that organizations prioritize security for their vendor payment processes to detect these attacks. Enterprises that adopt AI solutions to proactively combat the illicit exploitation of generative AI tools will gain a strategic advantage and successfully avert the risk of business payment fraud.

The Chattering Around ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a very useful tool for many businesses, but its capacity for human-like interactions has raised concerns for how it can aid threat actors to commit business payment fraud.  This characteristic poses a challenge for employees to distinguish between ChatGPT and actual people, which potentially exposes businesses to impersonation risks by malicious actors. Furthermore, ChatGPT can be programmed to use social engineering tactics. The tool can initiate conversations that appear entirely legitimate, extracting sensitive information, coercing employees into unauthorized transactions, or persuading them to disclose confidential financial data. Fraudsters can leverage ChatGPT to craft convincing phishing messages that closely resemble authentic communications conveying a sense of urgency and soliciting payments or financial information. Employees may unwittingly comply, believing they are engaging with a legitimate person.  What’s more, ChatGPT never sleeps and is on 24/7, which means it can enable fraudulent activities any time, including outside standard business hours. 

Deep Fakes: The Deceptive Doppelgängers

Deep fake technology represents a significant and evolving threat to businesses and individuals alike. These AI-driven tools have the capability to create incredibly realistic video and audio content that can deceive even the most discerning viewer or listener. While deep fake technology has garnered attention for its potential to manipulate political discourse and public figures, its implications for B2B payment fraud are equally concerning. One of the most problematic aspects of deep fake technology is its potential use in executive fraud or business email compromise (BEC) attacks. In a typical BEC attack, a cybercriminal impersonates a high-ranking executive within an organization and instructs an employee to make an urgent payment, often to a fraudulent account. With deep fake technology, criminals can create convincing audio or video messages that appear to come from the CEO or another trusted executive. These messages can make payment requests seem legitimate, even though they are part of a fraudulent scheme.

Getting to the Bottom of ChatBots

Generative AI chatbots can also be used in business payment fraud. These tools have become incredibly skilled at creating highly convincing and deceptive content. Chatbots can mimic the way legitimate business contacts, including top executives, communicate making it nearly impossible for employees to distinguish between this type of tech and actual colleagues. Chatbots are quite crafty at using social engineering tactics to gather sensitive information, manipulating employees into making unauthorized financial transactions, or tricking them into revealing confidential data. What's more, chatbots can produce phishing messages that seem urgent and legitimate, often appearing as if they're from trusted sources. They can pretend to be high-ranking executives or important vendors, giving instructions to transfer money to fraudulent accounts. The authenticity of a chatbot message can be hard to spot using traditional methods, and they can target multiple employees at once, potentially causing significant financial losses. 

New GPTs Gaining Ground

Threat actors have become so emboldened by the strides made in AI technology that they have created their own versions of large language models (LLMs) with the explicit purpose of engaging in fraudulent and criminal activity. One such model is WormGPT, a tool that boasts the ability to craft persuasive and clever content, demonstrating a strong potential for more successful phishing and business email compromise (BEC) attacks.  FraudGPT is another AI tool actively sold on the dark web with no pretense of legitimacy. This model is openly advertised to benefit fraudsters, hackers, and spammers. It is touted as having no restrictions, rules, or boundaries in order to assist threat actors with their schemes. 

What do you do?

The rise of generative AI tools presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses. While these tools can enhance efficiency and productivity, they also pose significant risks. Processes for business payments are particularly susceptible to being compromised because they are manual and have several points along where threat actors can infiltrate.  Many people are involved and there is little visibility across the entire workflow to see if anything fishy is going on.

To protect against AI-driven fraud, organizations must invest in advanced technologies that can help detect and prevent fraudulent payment requests. Trustmi’s AI-driven solution can fold into the processes that finance teams have in place to detect suspicious signals that attacks are taking place. The platform then flags those activities, alerts the people involved in the process, and can stop the payments from being released so that funds aren’t sent to the wrong place.

The development of new and advanced AI tools continues to accelerate, which is why organizations need to think about protecting their vendor payments process for the long term today. We’re excited to see that more businesses are embracing AI technologies like ours to combat the dark uses of these generative AI tools, which allows them to stay ahead of the game and combat payment fraud.

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