IBM researchers at Black Hat USA 2018 announced their development of DeepLocker, described as a highly targeted and evasive attack tool powered by AI.
The new tool is designed to better understand how several existing AI models can be combined with current malware techniques to create a particularly challenging new breed of malware, according to an 8 August blog post.
Researchers said the malware is designed to conceal its intent until it reaches a specific victim and then unleash its malicious action as soon as the AI model identifies the target via indicators such as facial recognition, geolocation and voice recognition.
To demonstrate the malware's capabilities, researchers designed a proof of concept which camouflaged the WannaCry ransomware in a benign video conferencing application so that it remains undetected by malware analysis tools.
The researchers' goal for developing the ransomware was to raise awareness of AI-powered threats, demonstrate how attackers have the capability to build stealthy malware that can circumvent commonly deployed defenses, and provide insights into how to reduce risks and deploy adequate countermeasures.