Social media has turned into an easy tool to spread misinformation and fraud, from Facebook to TikTok. A lawsuit filed by Google in the Northern District of California claimed scammers set up Facebook social-media accounts encouraging people to download a fake version of Bard through ads filled with malware.
All this as technology companies race toward protecting users from fraudsters trying to capitalize on generative artificial intelligence (GAI). The rise of GAI prompted Google on Monday to take legal action against two groups of scammers to protect users of its GAI technology Bard.
The groups aimed to weaponize copyright laws for profit. The first group tried to exploit public enthusiasm for GAI to spread malware. The second weaponized the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to harm business competitors by submitting thousands of fraudulent copyright notices, where fraudsters tricked users into installing malware onto devices.
Halimah DeLaine Prado, general counsel at Google, in a post explains that during the past Google has “proactively pursued litigation to stop scammers who exploit the vulnerable, trick small businesses and attempt to extort our users.”
The extortion consisted of five unidentified scammers that tricked people searching for Google’s AI chatbot Bard and downloading malware onto their computers.
User downloaded the file and unknowingly installed malicious software onto their devices. That malware allowed scammers access their social media accounts. The Facebook profiles were called “Google AI,” “AIGoogle,” “AiGoogle,” “AIGoogle.Plus,” “AIGoogle Bard FB,” and “AIGoogleBard.”
Since April, Google has filed roughly 300 takedowns related to this group of bad actors.
The action Google took also is meant to protect small businesses in each of its services through enhancements that support the rise of GAI across its platforms, from Gmail to google Play and Google Ads.
Another lawsuit filed by Google today describes fraudsters who allegedly set up dozens of Google accounts and used them to submit thousands of false copyright claims against their competitors. It claims two individuals have created at least 65 Google accounts to submit thousands of fraudulent notices of copyright infringement against more than 117,000 websites.
Google may have been the first to take legal action after identifying fraud related to GAI, but not the first to take take action to stop the disruption and misuse of the technology.
Microsoft last week made the decision to block ChatGPT internally among its employees after OpenAI outages that the company suspected were caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack—a malicious attempt to disrupt access to a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming it—after identifying abnormal traffic patterns and periodic outages. A group that goes by the name Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility.
NewsGuard made a Misinformation Fingerprint on this topic from its proprietary catalog of false claims available to the media. The conclusion is based on reports from the U.S. and other intelligence agencies, independent experts, and visual investigations by multiple news outlets.
If false information indexes in search queries on engines like Google Search and Microsoft Bing, it is only because the content starts on publisher sites in articles not completely vetted, in social media and in blogs.