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This is how you can hack a business AI assistant

Yes, an AI can be hacked. But I'll also tell you how to avoid it.

AI assistants are not only possible to hack, but doing so is easier than creating an email with ChatGPT. This is a problem that affects a large number of companies and, unfortunately, happens more often than many are willing to accept.

Even if you say no, it's likely that your company is not the only one with access to your customers' data.

Social engineering hacking is not dead, and artificial intelligence can help you with your work texts, but it's not that intelligent. That's precisely why an army of hackers is having fun at this very moment with the AI assistants of various companies.

If you're worried about this happening to you, keep reading. Here we explain the methods hackers use to breach AI assistants and the alternatives you have to keep your customers' data truly safe.

How is an artificial intelligence assistant hacked?

Although hacking an artificial intelligence assistant may seem like a complex task, keep in mind that some people are dedicated exclusively to it.

An example of the skills and power hackers can have is Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old teenager who not only hacked the servers of Uber and Nvidia but after being arrested and under police supervision, infiltrated Rockstar Games' internal messaging systems using only an Amazon Firestick.

Hacking an AI assistant can be much simpler, especially since many platforms do not use robust security systems, and because the creativity to exploit chatbots and make them do what is asked is constantly being renewed.

Let's look at some of the most impactful hacking methods and why some platforms do not have the proper protocols to respond to such threats.


Social engineering

Although the concept of social engineering might make us think of that time our WhatsApp was hacked, the truth is that artificial intelligence assistants are also vulnerable to deception, and this hacking method is still relevant.

Social engineering tactics are effective because they exploit the implicit trust and predefined programming of AI assistants. Hackers don't need to break codes or overcome complex technological barriers; instead, they simply take advantage of the interactive nature and the assistant's desire to be helpful.

Even large companies linked to the artificial intelligence sector have seen their systems overcome by such deceptions.

An example of this is what happened a while ago with ChatGPT, OpenAI's AI. Despite this AI being configured with ethical limits to not provide illegal or sensitive information, several users circumvented the restrictions and managed to obtain everything from activation codes for Windows to detailed instructions for manufacturing napalm.

This was achieved by deceiving the AI with a prompt in which a user asked it to tell a story as his grandmother did. In the case of napalm, the query indicated that ChatGPT should assume the role of a chemical engineer who was telling her grandson the manufacturing instructions for this fuel to help him sleep. ChatGPT, another victim of loving manipulation.

Prompt Injection 

Another method used to hack artificial intelligence assistants is prompt or command injection. This method involves inserting specific commands or questions designed to manipulate the assistant's response in a way that reveals sensitive information or acts in a particular manner.

This type of attack, which previously targeted operating systems, servers, or databases, is now affecting artificial intelligence assistants and poses a serious danger to businesses.

In the context of AIs, attackers design specific prompts to deceive the assistant, exploiting the way it processes and responds to user inputs. One such method, for example, involves nesting commands within other prompts to access restricted information.

Even some AI assistants, like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, can be vulnerable to this type of hacking, especially through voice commands. There are some cases of YouTube videos that have been manipulated with hidden audio commands to request information or give instructions to the assistants.

Of course, the security mechanisms of these companies are very effective, and the task for hackers is not easy. Through this method, assistants that have not been trained to avoid hacks are more vulnerable.

Hacking Tools

There are many tools to hack a business AI assistant. Generally, these are tools that identify and exploit the vulnerabilities of the assistants.

With some of them, like Nebula AI Hacking Tool or HackerGPT, it is possible to send hidden commands to a virtual assistant through an apparently normal conversation.

Although these tools were designed within the realm of ethical hacking, they can be used by malicious hackers with the purpose of manipulating the behavior of an AI assistant. This way, they access sensitive information and get the assistants to perform actions that are normally unauthorized..

Why Are Most Assistants Vulnerable to Hacking?

Although personal hacks can be annoying and pose certain risks, it must be kept in mind that in the case of businesses, the consequences are much more severe.

AI assistants handle a large amount of sensitive and confidential information, such as financial data, business strategies, and personal data, among many others. An attack not only compromises the privacy and security of the data but can also result in economic losses and significant damage to the company's reputation.

These are some of the reasons why most business artificial intelligence assistants are vulnerable:

  • Errors in the assistant's programming.
  • Poor security configurations.
  • Lack of training for the assistant to recognize and respond to manipulation attempts.

As we saw earlier, hackers use different methods to get an AI assistant to respond to their requests and act in a very particular way. Additionally, integration with other platforms and business services can make the security gap wider.

In this regard, Darwin AI differs from other assistants because it is trained to avoid hacks. Our solution has been developed with a particular focus on security, integrating advanced learning techniques and robust security protocols.

Darwin AI not only understands user requests but is also equipped to identify and mitigate potential exploitation or manipulation attempts, something that many other artificial intelligence assistants cannot effectively do.

What are the risks of using a vulnerable artificial intelligence assistant?

Being manipulated like ChatGPT.

Well, not necessarily. The risks and impact of exposing sensitive data in hacked companies are profound. In the case of Rockstar Games, the cost of the data breach was estimated at 5 million dollars, not counting the effects such a security breach has on staff.

Although the cost for small businesses is not as high, the risk remains significant. Data leaks can have legal implications and directly affect customers' perception of a business.

Leakage of personal data of customers and employees

Data leakage is one of the main risks of using an artificial intelligence assistant that is not trained to detect suspicious behavior and respond securely.

Many of these assistants have access to sensitive and confidential data that can be exposed after an attack. In the wrong hands, this data can be used for a variety of purposes, especially fraudulent activities.

For any company, data privacy is fundamental, especially due to the legal repercussions that any security breach can have.

Loss of trust from customers and partners

One of the most important assets of a company is the trust of its customers, something that can be lost very easily when their personal data is not properly protected.

No one finds it attractive to open a bank account where their money will not be safe. The same happens in the digital world; if personal and financial data are not perceived as protected, customers prefer to go to other companies or platforms.

Loyalty that may have taken years to build can crumble in an instant. Additionally, a hacking incident can attract the attention of the media and the general public, amplifying the damage to the company's reputation and affecting the acquisition of new customers.

Can AI be trained to prevent hacks?

Yes, artificial intelligence assistants can be trained to recognize suspicious user behavior and prevent hacks. Generally, these types of assistants learn to distinguish user queries and identify patterns that may be associated with an attack.

This is something that Darwin AI exemplifies, as it is not only trained to avoid hacks and raise alerts to its team but also has multiple security layers and stores data out of the assistants' reach, preventing any leakage or security breach.

Security Barriers and Layers of Darwin AI

Darwin AI not only offers companies the ability to automate a large part of their communication with customers and work teams, but also maintains data security.

It does this through different security barriers and layers, but the most important aspect is that it is an assistant trained to combat any type of hacking.

Additionally, it is backed by other virtual assistants specializing in cybersecurity for enterprise AI.

With our solutions, companies can stop worrying about their vulnerability to hacking methods such as social engineering and the use of nested prompts.


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