July 23, 2024
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ChatGPT and AI the Newest Vector for Malware: Meta Security Team

According to Meta’s security team research, artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT have emerged as the newest channel for “bad actors” to disseminate spam, malware, and phishing schemes.

A May 1 research report from Facebook parent Meta’s security team found 10 malware families posing as ChatGPT and similar artificial intelligence tools in March, some of which were found in different browser extensions. The report stated: “Since March alone, our security analysts have found around 10 malware families posing as ChatGPT and similar tools to compromise accounts across the internet.”

The reason these “bad actors”—malware operators, con artists, spammers, and others—have shifted to AI, according to Meta, is because it is the “latest wave” of technology that is catching “people’s imagination and excitement.” The study was conducted at a time when artificial intelligence (AI) was receiving a lot of attention, with ChatGPT, in particular, grabbing a lot of it. 

For instance, it said, “We’ve seen threat actors create malicious browser extensions that are sold in legitimate web stores as ChatGPT-related tools.” According to Meta Security, several of these “malicious extensions” carried out ChatGPT-compatible actions simultaneously with the virus.

The company’s security team then cited the hoopla around digital currency and the frauds that have resulted from it in explaining that bad actors often shift to whatever the most recent trend is: “This is not unique to the generative AI sector. As a sector, we’ve seen this in relation to other issues that were trendy at the time, including crypto frauds that were stoked by interest in digital currency.

They emphasised the need to be “vigilant,” saying that “the generative AI space is rapidly evolving, and bad actors know it.” In a recent interview with Reuters, Guy Rosen, Meta’s chief security officer, said that “ChatGPT is the new crypto” for these bad guys.

However, it should be noted that Meta is currently working on its own generative AI advancements. To further its augmented and virtual reality technology, Meta AI is actively developing many types of AI. Despite having made significant investments in the Metaverse, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg claims that AI is Meta’s single-largest investment.