Hackers have set their sights on a new and very valuable target: law firms. According to Bloomberg Law, “news of data breaches at prominent firms has become close to a weekly occurrence, with reports of cyber thieves gaining access to different types of data.” Cyberattacks also rose by 7 percent in the first quarter of 2023, with one out of every 40 attacks targeting a law firm or an insurance provider, as reported by Checkpoint Research.
In July 2023 alone, cyberattackers targeted three top U.S. law firms using ransomware to extract data. These breaches have caused serious reverberations, including a number of class action and regulator-led lawsuits, filed on the basis of firms using inadequate security protocols to protect their data from cyberattacks.
But why target law firms? Because of the sheer amount of exploitable client data they hold.
To mitigate the damage such attacks create, tech innovators have developed zk-SNARKs, a mechanism that limits the amount of sensitive data consumers need to hand over to companies. VAIOT, an AI-powered digital service provider for businesses and consumers, now leverages zk-SNARKs technology to fortify its flagship AI Legal Assistant product.
VAIOT’s AI Legal Assistant implements zk-SNARKS to verify information in a legal contract without revealing sensitive information, while also leveraging the text fluency of GPT-4 to enhance user interaction. The zk-SNARK capabilities are also now available in VAIOT’s AI Assistant designed specifically for citizen services and public administration process automation, which shares the Legal Assistant’s AI engine.
“We’re thrilled to leverage AI to automate and expand access to legal support and citizen services, and it’s crucial to do so effectively and responsibly,” says Paweł Andruszkiewicz, COO of VAIOT.
zk-SNARKs powers new features in AI Legal Assistant, which include the following:
- Proof of income: Whenever there is a need to present proof of income based on a certain legal document, VAIOT’s AI Legal Assistant will be able to generate it based on the determined agreement or based on the legal document provided by the user and verified by the Assistant.
- Confidentiality, Non-competition, and Penalty Clauses: When creating documents that include confidentiality, non-competition, or penalty. clauses, zk-SNARKs can be used to provide proof that the clause is present and correctly formatted, without revealing any other information about the document.
- Proof of Compliance: When a legal document requires compliance with certain regulations, a zk-SNARK could be used to prove that the document complies, without revealing the specifics of how this compliance is achieved.
“zk-SNARKs represent a groundbreaking paradigm shift,” adds Szymon Reddig, Lead Blockchain Developer of VAIOT. “They offer a remarkable capability to generate proofs for arbitrary computations while revealing zero knowledge to the verifier beyond the validity of the statement itself.”
For everyday people, the zk-SNARKs enhances security and ease of access in a number of scenarios, which include:
- Proof of Identity: zk-SNARKs can allow a person to prove that they are who they say they are, without revealing any other personal information. This can be useful for age verification, proof of residence, or similar situations where identity needs to be confirmed. VAIOT’s solutions enable users to prove their identity as part of public administration systems integration.
- Purchase Proofs: If a person buys something from a retailer that accepts blockchain transactions, zk-SNARKs can be used to verify that the buyer paid the correct amount without revealing the specifics of the transaction. In VAIOT AI Legal Assistant, this enables users to present entities with proof of purchase of a certain good or service without revealing all the data behind the agreement.
- Anonymous Dispute Resolution: After a user passes the privacy-preserving proof-of-identity procedure, zk-SNARKs can also ensure that in dispute situations on a decentralized network, such as a DAO, only verified users are voting, and only once. This eliminates users creating dozens of wallets to manipulate DAO decisions.
Andruszkiewicz continues, “Blockchain, and particularly zk-SNARKs, opens a world of options to verify contracts to any party without disclosing sensitive information. In our case, users sharing data coming from legal and formal documentation generated through our AI Assistants can rest assured knowing only information that is required by a certain entity for a particular process will be shared. At VAIOT, we understand the true potential of AI can only be harnessed when users understand their data is safe.”
VAIOT’s $VAI token has been fully regulated by the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) since 2020.