Google Sues 'Scammers' Spreading Malware Via Bard Download Ads

Google this morning announced it is suing two groups of "scammers" it claims have been exploiting public enthusiasm for generative AI to spread malware via search ads encouraging users to "download" Google's new Bard service.

"Our first lawsuit targets bad actors who misled numerous people around the world looking to use Google’s AI tools into unknowingly downloading malware," Google disclosed in a blog post early this morning, adding: "The fraudsters created social media pages and ran ads that encouraged people to “download” Bard, our freely available generative AI tool that does not need to be downloaded. The ads instead led people to download malware that compromised their social media accounts. Since April, we have filed roughly 300 takedowns related to this group of bad actors."

Google said that suit seeks to stop the scammers from setting up such domains and to have existing ones disabled with U.S. domain registrars.

"Our second lawsuit targets bad actors abusing the DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] by using bogus copyright takedowns to harm competitors.

"The DMCA was created to protect internet users and copyright holders, while encouraging innovation. It enables creators to protect their work on the Internet, ensures users and businesses can create and share information online, and gives companies the certainty they need to offer services to the public. In compliance with the DMCA, Google has a takedown process to handle legitimate complaints of copyright infringement."

Google said that suit "targets bad actors who set up dozens of Google accounts and used them to submit thousands of bogus copyright claims against their competitors," adding: "These fraudulent claims resulted in removal of over 100,000 businesses’ websites, costing them millions of dollars and thousands of hours in lost employee time."

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