Beware of DarkBART and DarkBERT

The new generation of AI threats target small businesses

In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, small businesses are facing a new and potentially dangerous adversary: malicious AI-powered chatbots. Recent developments highlight the emergence of advanced AI tools designed to exploit vulnerabilities, create sophisticated phishing campaigns, and facilitate cybercrime on an unprecedented scale. It’s crucial for small businesses to be aware of these threats and take proactive steps to protect themselves.

The Dark Web is no longer just a playground for hackers; it’s becoming the breeding ground for AI-driven threats. One notorious developer, known as “CanadianKingpin12,” is responsible for unleashing malicious AI chatbots that exploit generative AI and Google’s Bard technology. The first of these bots, FraudGPT, has already caused concern. However, the developer’s plans extend far beyond this initial creation.

Upcoming bots, DarkBART and DarkBERT, are expected to arm cybercriminals with AI capabilities that could potentially revolutionize the cybercrime landscape. The capabilities of these bots are alarming, ranging from launching business email compromise (BEC) phishing campaigns to exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities and probing critical infrastructure weaknesses. In essence, these AI tools could enable even novice cybercriminals to execute sophisticated attacks previously only within the realm of highly skilled hackers.

The rapid evolution of these AI bots underlines the significant impact of malicious AI on cybersecurity. DarkBART and DarkBERT are designed to push the boundaries further, with functionality that includes integration with Google Lens, allowing the bots to send text accompanied by images. This represents a new dimension in AI-driven threats, as previous iterations were predominantly text-based.

To defend against this growing menace, small businesses must adopt a proactive approach. Here are some steps that small businesses can take to protect themselves from the risks posed by these dangerous AI bots:

  1. Employee Training: Provide comprehensive training to employees to identify phishing attacks, particularly those involving AI-generated content. Make sure employees understand the evolving nature of cyber threats and the role AI plays in them.
  2. BEC-Specific Training: In addition to general cybersecurity training, offer specialized training that educates employees about the unique characteristics of BEC attacks. This will help them recognize and respond effectively to targeted threats.
  3. Enhanced Email Verification: Strengthen your email verification measures by adding strict processes and keyword-flagging mechanisms to existing protocols. Verify the authenticity of incoming emails to prevent AI-driven threats from infiltrating your communication channels.
  4. Regular Updates: Keep your cybersecurity strategies up to date with the latest developments in AI-driven cyber threats. Regularly review and adapt your security measures to counter emerging risks effectively.
  5. Collaboration and Information Sharing: Stay informed about the latest threat intelligence by participating in industry forums, collaborating with cybersecurity experts, and sharing insights within your network. Knowledge sharing can be a powerful defense against evolving threats.

In a world where cyber threats are becoming increasingly intricate, a proactive and educated approach is essential. By combining strong employee training, targeted measures against AI-generated threats, and continuous adaptation, small businesses can arm themselves against the potential consequences of AI-driven cybercrime. As these threats continue to evolve, businesses that remain vigilant and adaptive will be better equipped to navigate this challenging landscape and protect their digital assets.

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Zeektek is an IT staffing and solutions company located in the Greater Sacramento Area. Founded in 2016 by staffing industry veterans John Stuart and Chad Daugherty, Zeektek was formed under the most basic of principles and qualities – loyalty, good listening and honesty. Zeektek is intensely focused on people, community and technology. For these efforts, Zeektek has been recognized with numerous awards and ranked on several industry lists, including Staffing Industry Analysts’ Best Staffing Firms list. To learn more, go to

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