Since the advent of the Internet in 1969, the development of malware has changed with each passing day. The emergence of artificial intelligence aggravates these threats, making them more complex and efficient.
Grace Grace Hooper, the mother of modern programming, was born on December 9, 1906. In order to commemorate her, people chose to designate her birthday as "International computer Science Day", that is, "International Informatics Day". Every year, on December 9, we not only celebrate the great progress made in computer science, but also review the important progress made in network security technology.
Check Point ®Software Technology Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), a leading global provider of network security solutions, celebrates International Informatics Day and the 30th anniversary of Check Point Software Technology, a historic review of major milestones in IT and network security. From the advent of the Internet to the rise of artificial intelligence, the network security industry continues to adapt to the new IT requirements, the application of new technologies to defend against network attacks.
The Origin of Network Security
Network security was born when the first computers were able to connect to the Internet and transmit information to each other, which dates back to the 1950s, when the first computer networks and modems came out. However, it was not until the 1960s that network security in the modern sense began to take shape. The Internet was officially born in 1969 when the Defense Advanced Research projects Agency (ARPA) sent a message from the University of California to the Stanford Research Center. This milestone not only marks the birth of cyberspace, but also lays the foundation for network security.
1990s: malware emerges
In 1971, researcher Bob Thomas (Bob Thomas) developed the first virus, called Creeper. The malware spread through ARPANET (the name of the first computer network) and sent a message to the infected device: "I am Creeper, come and catch me." Then Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of e-mail, developed a program called Reaper in an attempt to track and destroy Creeper. The concept of network security was born, and the program developed by Ray Tomlinson is also regarded as the earliest antivirus software. In the 1980s, malware emerged one after another and the number of malware soared. But at that time, most of them just sent chain messages to harass others and did not attempt to make a profit from it. In order to deal with these malware, John McAfee (John McAfee) founded McAfee and launched VirusScan software in 1987, which marked the beginning of the commercialization of antivirus software.
Millennium bug alarm: "love bug" virus
At the beginning of the new millennium, the millennium bug problem raised concerns that the computer system was dysfunctional because programs could not perform cross-century date processing operations. It is feared that with the advent of the new millennium, all dates will go wrong, which will cause great trouble and serious damage to all countries and regions. At the turn of the century, the problem did cause serious losses and failures, but it also made us clearly aware that society is becoming more and more dependent on technology. At that time, it was not clear how much actual damage the virus could do through the network. Later, the emergence of the infamous "love bug" phishing virus (also known as "I love you") made people realize the reality. The virus quickly spread to computers in Asia, Europe and the Americas in just five hours, causing economic losses of up to 10 billion euros.
This is the first phishing incident: it sends an email with the theme "I love you" to the user, along with a "LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs" file. When turned on, the virus runs automatically on the computer, grabs all e-mail addresses in the inbox, then continues to spread, and infects all files on the computer. Many government agencies have also been tricked, making the whole society aware of the importance of network security.
2010s: WannaCry outbreak
At the beginning of the 21 century, the forms of blackmail software attacks began to become more and more complex. In 2017, there was a cyber attack called WannaCry: it was a national action and spread widely around the world. Although the ransom for WannaCry is only $300, it marks the beginning of the use of blackmail software for politics. Today, blackmail software has become a major risk, because the means it uses is becoming more complex, and the damage and economic losses caused are becoming more and more serious.
The future of artificial intelligence has come (after 2020)
In the past few years, network attacks and blackmail software attacks have become more and more complex, and new attack vectors have been emerging from supply chain attacks to artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, industry experts predict that with the interconnection of enterprises and society, global cyber attacks and new phishing methods are bound to increase. In China, although the Internet Fraud Group of Northern Myanmar Telecom is very happy, extortion and fishing attacks have not slowed down. According to third-party data, in the third quarter of 2023, domestic enterprise mailbox users received more than 80 million phishing emails, a year-on-year increase of 47 percent and a month-on-month increase of 23 percent. More significantly, more than half of the total phishing emails were sent from within China, the first time since the third quarter of 2022 that the number of phishing emails inside China has exceeded the number of emails coming from abroad. This also makes email a "security deficiency" in the entire enterprise network architecture.
Artificial intelligence technology improves the frequency, speed and efficiency of threats, which marks a new turning point in the evolution of network attacks. Technologies such as deep forgery are trying to steal information by impersonating individuals and companies, phishing attacks are becoming more confusing, and new variants of blackmail and malware are becoming faster and more cost-effective. With the rapid development of the technological means of cyber criminals, the cyber security industry has also begun to use artificial intelligence to upgrade its defense methods to keep up with the pace of technological progress. The Check Point Harmony Email & Collaboration solution uses complex artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to understand email language, context, and the relationship between sender and recipient, and compares the survey results with email data as a baseline. At the same time, the solution can detect danger signals such as mismatched sender addresses, leaked phone numbers and changes in writing style, thus helping enterprises to avoid the risk of phishing attacks to the maximum extent. As a result, Check Point Harmony Email & Collaboration solutions were rated as the industry leader in the "Forrester Wave ️: enterprise email Security" report in the second quarter of 2023.
Wang Yuelin, technical director of Check Point in China, said: "the development rate of the whole network industry has been growing geometrically. From the birth of the Internet, to the rapid evolution of malware, and then to the rapid development of network security technology, everything is dizzying. But what deserves more attention is the outlook for the future. Artificial intelligence has opened a new door for the era of science and technology, which not only brings serious threats, but also promotes the upgrading of security protection means and technological breakthroughs. Check Point believes that perhaps in the near future, we will usher in another major change in technology and applications. "
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