Artificial intelligence tools, such as ChatGPT, have become the latest way for “bad actors” to distribute malware, scams and spam — research from Meta’s security team warns.
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 various browser extensions, noting:
“Since March alone, our security analysts have found around 10 malware families posing as ChatGPT and similar tools to compromise accounts across the internet.”
Meta explained that these “bad actors” — malware operators, scammers, spammers and the like — have moved to AI because it’s the “latest wave” of what is capturing “people’s imagination and excitement.”
The research comes amid a major interest in artificial intelligence, with ChatGPT, in particular, capturing much attention brought to AI.
“For example, we’ve seen threat actors create malicious browser extensions available in official web stores that claim to offer ChatGPT-related tools,” it added.
Meta security said that some of these “malicious extensions” included operations with ChatGPT functionality which coexisted alongside the malware.
The firm’s security team then explained that bad actors tend to move to where the latest craze is, referencing the hype around digital currency and the scams that have come from it:
“This is not unique to the generative AI space. As an industry, we’ve seen this across other topics popular in their time, such as crypto scams fueled by the interest in digital currency.”
“The generative AI space is rapidly evolving and bad actors know it,” they added, stressing the need to be “vigilant.”
Guy Rosen, Meta’s chief security officer, went one step further in a recent interview with Reuters by stating that “ChatGPT is the new crypto” for these bad actors.
Related: OpenAI launches bug bounty program to combat system vulnerabilities
It should however be noted that Meta is now making its own developments in generative AI.
Meta AI is currently building various forms of AI to help improve its augmented and artificial reality technologies.
Despite being heavily invested in the Metaverse, AI is now Meta’s single largest investment, according to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Cointelegraph contacted OpenAI — the team behind ChatGPT — for comment.
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