NSA Warning: China Is Stealing AI Technology

The US National Security Agency is telling US tech companies to be aware of Chinese attempts to steal their Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. The Pentagon’s cyber intelligence chief was warning about what China might do with these new tools. “We think much about the ability of what AI is going to do for us in the future. One of the things that we have communicated very clearly to a number of the US companies is the importance of securing the intellectual property that you have invested within this." General Paul Nakasone said. 

“This type of capability because this will be a target of our adversaries,” he told the House Armed Services cyber and intelligence subcommittee recently. The General, who is head of both the NSA and Cyber Command, didn’t mention China by name, but Nakasone says that China is the top nation-state threat to US intellectual property. 

Enormous investments and leading scientists and engineers have been engaged in the rise of new public Large Language Model (LLM) facing AI programs like ChatGPT, which can provide complex, human-like answers to a wide number of prompts. Bots like ChatGPT may not be able to pull off the next big Microsoft server worm or Colonial Pipeline ransomware exploit but they may help criminal gangs and nation-state hackers develop some attacks against IT, according to Rob Joyce, director of the NSA's Cybersecurity Directorate.

These generative pre-trained transformers have proven widely useful for everything from writing research papers, to finding Chinese weather balloons. But many of them achieve their miraculous effects by simply pulling information from the open Internet where some info is not accurate or correct. 

Additionally, as much as 11 percent of the data that employees put into ChatGPT and other new AI engines to get answers is proprietary or confidential, according to analysis from software firm Cyberhaven. 

Intelligence agencies will have to be cautious in employing such models and be certain of the providence of the data that feeds them, Ronald Moultrie, defense undersecretary for intelligence, told the House Committee. “We know our adversaries are considering or already thinking about large data models if you will, and how they may use that against us, he said. “Our...being able to identify when something is actually an AI-generated outcome is something that's gonna be very important to us, too.”

The Chinese government is investing heavily in its national plan to become the world leader in AI by 2030. and the US intelligence establishment needs to become better attuned to how adversaries might use similar AI engines to create disinformation. 

Cyberhaven:    DefenseOne:    CyberCom:    Microsoft:    The Register:    NDU / Richard Andres    @StephSmith

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