In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining widespread popularity, many people are continually growing fond of its many applications, and businesses are going to great lengths to harness its benefits. Among these tech wonders is OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a Microsoft-backed AI-powered chatbot app that has revolutionized the market. Its ability to generate human-like responses and engage users in a life-like conversation made it a captivating trailblazer.
However, as with many tech innovations, ChatGPT is also being utilized by malicious actors and scammers. According to Statista, the global AI market was $327.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to hit $500 billion in 2024. Therefore, it is no surprise that with this staggering growth, scammers are leveraging the widespread interest in ChatGPT for their nefarious purposes.
This article will focus on ChatGPT being used to create phishing scams and how to ensure you can defend yourself from all types of phishing scams. Read on to learn more.
It seems there is no respite from scammers as ChatGPT is currently being used in different ways and forms to create phishing scams and defraud unsuspecting users of confidential information. Here are some ways this software is being used for scams:
Email has long been a channel through which scams have been perpetuated, whether by spreading malware, stealing confidential information, or blackmailing victims. Scammers are now going one step ahead by using ChatGPT to create highly convincing email scams, and it is doing its job perfectly.
Usually, it was easier to spot phishing emails by the presence of poor grammar and misspellings. However, with the advent of ChatGPT for scammers who, for instance, are not fluent in English and want to target English-speaking people, they only need to take their content through the AI-powered software, and the words and grammar come back clean.
Since ChatGPT was launched for public use, there has been an increase in the expected number of malicious email scams. This is because an email, well-written with the help of ChatGPT, can effectively convince people that the email is real, leading to financial swindling, data loss, and more.
To summarize, just about anyone can use ChatGPT to write an email in any language and infuse it with phishing links.
Browser extensions are a common and convenient tool used by many people worldwide (Grammarly and ChatGPT are good examples). However, malicious actors and scammers can also use phony versions of these types of apps for their use.
While there are a number of authentic ChatGPT-focused browser extensions on the market, such as Enhanced and Merlin ChatGPT, not every ChatGPT-focused browser extension you see on the app store of your browser is safe.
Installing the wrong browser extension can cause an actor to remotely monitor your keystrokes and gain access to your passwords and other sensitive data or information. They can also remotely install malware on your device and gain access to your sensitive data. For instance, a viral ChatGPT extension called “ChatGPT for Google” on app stores is currently being used to steal users’ Facebook data.
The name was intentionally crafted to deceive people and was more than successful. The moment a user downloads the extension, it begins to install untraceable backdoors on Facebook accounts and change admin permissions to get data without prior notice.
It is currently challenging to get the official ChatGPT app as all versions are web-based, and the only app form available is for the iOS platform. Due to the lack of ChatGPT apps, scammers are taking advantage of this situation. They are flooding app stores with versions of their own ChatGPT apps in order to carry out phishing scams.
This is not unlike the Lensa AI saga, where thousands of people had downloaded the image editing app to create new cartoonish versions of them and failed to read the fine print stating that Lensa AI could use their photos for personal uses. For fake ChatGPT apps, they might even go one step further, asking for financial information under the guise of paying for the service.
One such app was uncovered in February 2023. Named ChatGPT, its sole purpose was to spread Android and Windows malware. Downloading the app on any device signified that the malware had been installed and was already active.
Many phishing attacks also come through clicking links that lead to supposedly authentic websites. On the admin side, however, these websites secretly log your keystrokes to get passwords and access to valuable data for nefarious purposes. For ChatGPT users who do not know the address of the authentic website, it is very easy to visit the wrong website where, on logging in by putting in your email and password, the scammer is slowly building information for your profile.
Another way this might happen is that you get an email from a ChatGPT staff claiming that your registration needs to be completed and would thus need a form of verification. A link will be sent where you are to log in and complete the registration. Clicking the link takes you to another website, where inputting your details gives the scammer access to your search history and other sensitive information.
With the new update, ChatGPT can literally do anything for you. While it can develop lines of code, it can also create the basic code you need to create malware. In 2023, a user allegedly used ChatGPT to create simple and easy Python malware. This means that any cybercriminal could now log in to ChatGPT and, with some tweaks, create dangerous malware that could wreak havoc all over the internet.
Just thinking of the cause and effect was bound to make IT professionals think hard about the potential impacts of the app.
Here are some things to do to ensure ChatGPT phishing scams do not hurt you:
By understanding the tactics employed by scammers and watching out for ChatGPT phishing scams, you can safeguard yourself from falling victim to ChatGPT phishing scams.
The focus on IT and network security has never been more intense, and it is due to the increasing amount and complexity of cyberattacks as the years go by. Haxxess helps businesses stay on top of their security, and your business should also enjoy the services we offer.
Contact us today to get started.