Beware! Bing Chat ads linked to Malware-infested software, warns Malwarebytes

Some Bing Chat ads are reportedly leading users to fake websites, says Malwarebytes.

| Updated on: Oct 02 2023, 06:38 IST
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Through Bing Chat ads, malware-infected software installers are being distributed to users. (AP)

If you are someone who relies on chatbots regularly then here is a warning. In a concerning development, researchers have found that Bing Chat, an AI-powered chatbot, is being exploited by cybercriminals to spread malware-infected software installers that promote fake websites. This concern has been raised regarding Microsoft Bing Chat. The malware is dangerous for users and if downloaded on their devices, can cause serious damage. This alarming revelation of malware-infested software has been reported by a renowned cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes.

Malware-Infested Software

Bing Chat is an AI chatbot launched by Microsoft in early 2023. It is powered by the GPT-4 language model and it allows users to have natural conversations with the chatbot on numerous topics. As revealed by the report, while having a conversation with Bing Chat, ads appear as some links which are used by threat actors to distribute the malware. According to the report, these infested ads are the same as Advanced IP scanners. If users ask Bing Chat queries about downloading a software, a link will appear in the chat along with the sponsored links on the top. When users click on the sponsored link, they are directed to a website that employs advanced techniques to distinguish between human users and automated bots or crawlers. If the visitor is identified as a real human, they are subsequently redirected to a deceptive website with the URL 'advenced-ip-scanner[.]com.' On this fraudulent website, users are presented with a misleading prompt encouraging them to download an installer. And this installer contains malicious software.

How to take precautions?

It is crucial for Bing Chat users to be extra cautious when interacting with links offered by the chatbot. Although Bing Chat serves as a valuable resource for information, it's vital to recognize and address the potential risks associated with fake advertisements.

One practical step that users should consider is to use traditional search engines, which tend to display sponsored ads in a more transparent manner. Furthermore, taking the initiative to install an ad blocker can proactively protect devices from malicious ads, thereby lowering the chances of encountering harmful websites.

Bing Chat has ushered in a new era of interactive search experiences and while users should make full use of the benefits accorded by this new technology, they ought to be aware of its pitfalls too. So, exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of sources and links before clicking on them. As cyber threats evolve, staying informed and vigilant remains paramount to safeguarding online security.

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First Published Date: 02 Oct, 06:38 IST