AI Cybercrime Stoppers: Synopsis Spins Off Software Integrity Group

As the FBI warns of the threat of artificial intelligence-powered cybercrime, Synopsis announced it will sell its Software Integrity Group business unit to global private equity firms Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. and Francisco Partners in a deal valued at $2.1 billion. The privately-held standalone business will be renamed at a later date. The deal arrives on the heels of Synopsis’s acquisition of Ansys for $35 billion in January. 

“Advancements in generative artificial intelligence technology are likely to disrupt the software development lifecycle over time, increasing the velocity of code generation and introducing new forms of software risk,” according to the company’s press release. “The Software Integrity Groups strong portfolio of application security testing … ensures developers can create high quality, secure and compliant code that minimizes cybersecurity risks, including risks arising from generative artificial intelligence.”

Cybercrime has rapidly grown into a multibillion-dollar problem. Statista calculates that the cost has increased by more than tenfold over just the past 6 years, from 860 million in 2018 to 9.22 billion in 2024 – and that is only getting worse. Analysts project that over the next four years, the costs of cybercrime will balloon by another 50%. 

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Source: Statista

The deal’s announcement proceeded by just two days a warning from the FBI San Francisco division that cybercriminals are increasingly harnessing AI to hack individuals and businesses. “Cybercriminals are leveraging publicly available and custom-made AI tools to orchestrate highly targeted phishing campaigns, exploiting the trust of individuals and organizations alike,” according to the FBI’s remarks at the RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco. “These AI-driven phishing attacks are characterized by their ability to craft convincing messages tailored to specific recipients and containing proper grammar and spelling, increasing the likelihood of successful deception and data theft.” 

Phishing, vishing, and smishing are the most frequently perpetrated cybercrimes, by far. Phishing is the use of fraudulent emails and websites to steal information, while vishing is the use of phone calls and smishing tries to trick the victim via text messages. 

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Source: Statista 

AI assists the cybercriminals to glean information about individuals to tailor messages to sound real: cybercriminals may use information about a family member’s vacation abroad to impersonate them and request money be sent overseas or even use AI voice generation to sound like that person on a call. A grandparent who hears of their grandson’s need to quick cash may fall for the trap, for example. 

According to DealPulse’s M&A database, which harnesses both AI and attorneys to digest the granular deal points of publicly announced transactions, Synopsis is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, while Clearlake and Francisco Partners are advised by Sidley Austin and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.