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HomeAIHUMAN DEPENDENCE ON MACHINES: THE RISE OF HACKING ACTIVITIES

HUMAN DEPENDENCE ON MACHINES: THE RISE OF HACKING ACTIVITIES

It’s undeniable that the discovery of machine learning has produced machines with more
advanced capabilities to solve human problems regardless of their nature. Simple and complex tasks included. Typical examples are deciding breakfast options and lifting heavy objects at the port using an AI machine. It implies increasing human dependence on machines rather than trying to figure out things independently. Although this dependency has brought unprecedented convenience and efficiency, some people argue that rapid technological advancement is gradually making humans mentally and physically lazy as they have become increasingly reliant on machines for various aspects of their lives.
Nevertheless, a more profound concern is the rise of cyber threats accompanying this
development. Let’s explore the complex relationship between human dependence on machines and the potential escalation of hacking activities, analyzing contributing factors and proposing measures to mitigate the associated risks.

THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGICAL DEPENDENCY

Ubiquitous Connectivity: Smart devices, Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets, smart homes and
automation tools have seamlessly integrated into daily life, from personal communication to critical infrastructure. There is hardly a part of human existence lacking the presence of
intelligent features brought by this growing technology.
Convenience and Efficiency: Machines have streamlined tasks, enhanced productivity, and facilitated access to information, driving their integration into various domains and aspects of life. A perfect example is the increasing use of the famous ChatGPT. The dependence is so high that most students don’t believe they’re correct until ChatGPT confirms it. Several home
decisions, such as vacation choice, also depend on its answers.

THE NEXUS OF DEPENDENCY AND HACKING

Attractive Targets: As humans increasingly rely on machines, these systems become attractive targets for hackers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities and gain unauthorized access. Imagine the disaster that would accompany a hacker successfully compromising the functionality of a smart home, giving unrestricted access to vital things in the building, including occupant’s nudity, until the hacker is apprehended or the hacking activity terminated.
Amplified Impact: Hacking activities can cause more significant disruptions due to the
interconnectedness of devices and systems, affecting individuals and organizations on a larger scale. A single hack could lead to multiple unauthorized access. A good scenario is a hacker successfully getting a password used for multiple access through a single hack. The possibility of this negative breakthrough has increased the rise in hacking activities.
Exploiting Complexity: Complex machine interactions give hackers a broader attack surface,
increasing the potential attack vectors and their chances of success.

FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO HACKING INCREASE

Exploitable Vulnerabilities: As machines handle sensitive data and control critical functions,
the exploitation of vulnerabilities becomes more lucrative for hackers, and the risk of getting
killed in the process is entirely zero because the theft is no longer physical. It is a motivating
factor for threat actors to keep putting more effort into hacking activities.
Automation and AI: Hackers can leverage AI-powered tools to automate attacks, increasing
their speed, precision, and the scale of potential damage. Just as AI has brought ease to human daily living, it has also brought ease to hackers’ daily activities. It implies the possibility of multiple hacks within a short period and more wealth for the threat actors if they succeed.
Social Engineering: With more human-machine interactions, hackers can exploit psychological and behavioural aspects to manipulate users into revealing sensitive information. Social engineering has increased more than ever in the past two years due to cybercriminals’ understanding of the wealth of online data available for exploitation.

MITIGATING THE RISK

Cyber Education: Raising awareness about cybersecurity among individuals and organizations can empower users to recognize and respond to potential threats.
Stronger Security Measures: Implementing robust cybersecurity measures, such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular updates, can deter hacking attempts.
Ethical Hacking: Employing ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses can help organizations proactively strengthen their defenses.

BALANCING INNOVATION AND SECURITY

Ethical AI: Developing AI emphasizing ethical decision-making can enhance security and
minimize the potential for AI-driven hacking.
Secure by Design: Designing machines with security in mind from the onset can reduce the
vulnerabilities available for exploitation.

The symbiotic relationship between human dependence on machines and the escalation of hacking activities is a complex challenge that demands a multi-faceted approach. As technology continues to drive innovation, society must simultaneously invest in robust cybersecurity measures and educational initiatives to mitigate the risks associated with this growing dependence. By prioritizing ethical AI, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and embracing proactive security practices, we can strike a balance between reaping the benefits of technological advancements and safeguarding ourselves against the evolving threat landscape.

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