New Cyberattack Method "Conversation Overflow" Targets Executives by Evading AI Security

Cyber Attack

A new cyberattack strategy named "Conversation Overflow" has emerged, aiming to slip credential-harvesting phishing emails past artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enabled security systems. These emails manage to circumvent AI/ML algorithms' detection by embedding malicious payloads within seemingly innocuous messages, posing a significant threat to enterprise networks.

SlashNext threat researchers have analyzed this tactic, highlighting its use in a series of attacks seemingly intended to test the capabilities of advanced cyber defences. Unlike traditional security controls that rely on detecting "known bad" signatures, AI/ML algorithms focus on identifying anomalies in "known good" communication patterns.

In the "Conversation Overflow" attack, cybercriminals craft emails with two distinct components: a visible section prompting action from the recipient and a concealed portion containing benign text meant to mimic legitimate communication. By deceiving AI/ML algorithms, attackers aim to convince security systems that the message is a normal exchange, assuming humans won't scroll down to reveal the hidden text.

Once these emails bypass security measures, cybercriminals can exploit the conversation to deliver authentic-looking messages requesting executives to reauthenticate passwords and logins, facilitating credential theft.

Stephen Kowski, field CTO for SlashNext, emphasizes the adaptability of cybercriminals in evading advanced security measures, particularly in the age of AI security. He underscores the importance of constant vigilance and active evaluation of security tools to uncover "unknown unknowns" in organizational environments.

Kowski advises security teams to invest in cybersecurity solutions leveraging ML and AI to combat evolving threats, recognizing the necessity of maximizing the efficiency of human resources in addressing growing security concerns.

In conclusion, the emergence of "Conversation Overflow" underscores the ongoing arms race between cybercriminals and security professionals, necessitating continuous innovation and investment in cybersecurity technologies.