Google Announces Free AI Cyber Tools to Bolster Online Security

February 20, 2024

Alphabet Inc.’s Google announced an initiative to provide artificial intelligence tools and investments to bolster online security, as the emerging technology is increasingly used to both protect against and perpetrate cybercrime.

Google will introduce a new open-source resource powered by AI that utilizes file type identification to help detect malware, the company said in a statement Friday. The tool, which is already being used to protect products including Gmail and Google Drive, will be made available for free.

The company will also release a white paper on Friday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany that details how it is using AI for cyber defense and that proposes a policy agenda that calls for advanced AI research and guardrails on autonomous cyber defenses.

“Our AI Cyber Defense Initiative reverses the ‘defender’s dilemma,’ where defenders have to be right all the time and attackers have to be right only once,” Kent Walker, the president for global affairs at Alphabet, said in a statement. “To keep up the momentum, we need policies that both mitigate the risks and seize the opportunities of AI.”

Google also announced additional investments in research grants and partnerships to advance cybersecurity research initiatives using AI and an expansion of cybersecurity seminars, including AI-focused modules.

Hackers are also integrating AI into their cyber operations. State-sponsored criminal groups are using large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to improve their strategies and troubleshoot technical issues, according to a report by Microsoft Corp. this week.

Top photo: A Google logo at a data center exhibition ahead of the ceremonial opening of the Google Cloud data center in Hanau, Germany, on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and ChatGPT maker OpenAI use cloud computing that relies on thousands of chips inside servers in massive data centers across the globe to train AI algorithms called models, analyzing data to help them learn to perform tasks. Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg.

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