There have been longstanding warnings about the dangers associated with AI technology, but a new lawsuit from Google has shed light on another unforeseen risk — hackers posting advertisements for fake versions of AI tools to steal social media accounts from small businesses.
In a company blog post published on Monday, Google explained that cybercriminals had been posting fake advertisements on Facebook encouraging users to download Bard, Google’s generative AI tool that users can access for free.
Google said that those who downloaded the fake attachments became susceptible to malware that then hacked the social media accounts that they were logged into, estimating that nearly 300 accounts have been recovered after being hacked.
“We are seeking an order to stop the scammers from setting up domains like these and allow us to have them disabled with U.S. domain registrars,” the company wrote. “If this is successful, it will serve as a deterrent and provide a clear mechanism for preventing similar scams in the future.”
The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Northern California against unnamed groups in India and Vietnam and seeks to go after the operators of fake Facebook account names that were created which include “Google AI,” “AIGoogle,” “AiGoogle,” “AIGoogle.Plus,” “AIGoogle Bard FB,” and “AIGoogleBard.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first major lawsuit of its kind that has been filed to protect users of a company’s AI product against cybercriminals and hackers.
Bard was first rolled out in March to 10,000 “trusted” users in the U.S. and the U.K. after being beta- tested internally to 80,000 Google employees. Now, it’s available to all users.
The chatbot is set to be a competitor to ChatGPT.