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Google’s AI security advancement: Unveiling Magika on


Google has introduced Magika, an innovative AI-powered file identification tool aimed at enhancing cybersecurity efforts by swiftly identifying and combatting malicious files. This cutting-edge tool, set to be open-sourced, employs a custom deep-learning model capable of achieving precise file identification within milliseconds, even when running on a CPU.

According to Google, Magika outperforms existing file detection systems by approximately 20%, as demonstrated in evaluations involving a benchmark of 1 million files spanning over 100 file types. Notably, the tool excels in handling textual files, including code and configuration files, areas where traditional tools often face challenges.

Melissa Ruzzi, Director of AI at SaaS security company AppOmni, emphasized the role of AI in improving security by rapidly identifying patterns and analyzing data, surpassing human capabilities. She highlighted the necessity of AI assistance in coping with the increasing complexity and volume of cyber attacks.

Internally, Magika has already shown promising results for Google, with reported improvements of 50% in file identification accuracy. This enhancement is based on the analysis of a weekly average of “hundreds of billions of files,” leading to a 11% increase in scanned files and a significant reduction in the number of unidentified files to 3%.

Google has implemented Magika at scale internally, enhancing user safety by directing Gmail, Drive, and Safe Browsing files to the appropriate security and content policy scanners. Despite its success, Magika has limitations, as acknowledged by Ruzzi. While effective against certain threats, Magika is not a comprehensive solution, and other entry points such as stolen credentials and vulnerabilities may still pose risks.

Magika, although not a silver bullet, signifies Google’s proactive stance in developing AI-powered cybersecurity tools. By open-sourcing the model and making it available on GitHub, Google contributes to the broader cybersecurity community, allowing developers to use and modify Magika in conjunction with other software.

Google also aims to integrate Magika with VirusTotal, enhancing its code insight function and serving as a pre-filter for file identification. The move towards AI-driven cybersecurity indicates a growing focus on advanced security measures within major companies like Google.

File identification in cybersecurity is a challenging process due to variations in file structures, necessitating tailor-made systems. While Magika streamlines this process, cybersecurity professionals must be aware of its limitations. Ruzzi suggests that, despite these vulnerabilities, Magika remains a valuable tool for cybersecurity procedures, contributing to a more specialized set of tools as companies increasingly utilize AI in the field.

In conclusion, Google’s Magika is a noteworthy advancement in AI-driven cybersecurity, showcasing the company’s commitment to enhancing digital security and contributing to the development of innovative solutions within the cybersecurity community.

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