On Monday, Google initiated a legal battle in a San Jose, California, district court against certain parties. These entities are accused of exploiting copyright laws and the excitement surrounding artificial intelligence to conduct Facebook scams.
Court documents, as per Reuters, reveal that the scammers employed social media and counterfeit advertisements featuring Google’s logo. These ads misled individuals into downloading harmful software, masquerading as the latest version of Bard, Google’s premier AI platform. The lawsuit mentions two unidentified persons or groups.
Google’s statement highlights that one group aimed to capitalize on the public’s interest in generative AI to distribute malware. The other misused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to damage competitors by issuing numerous fraudulent copyright claims.
The fraudsters posed as various entities like “Google AI,” “AIGoogle,” and similar names on Facebook. Their tactics included misleading ads, fake Google social media posts, counterfeit emails, and domain names like gbard-ai.info and gg-bard-ai.com. To enhance confusion, they mimicked Google’s unique font and color scheme and used images suggesting Google events or featuring Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
This lawsuit, according to Google, aims to interrupt the scammers’ operations, increase public awareness, and prevent further damage. Google seeks a jury trial against these defendants.
In their legal action, Google emphasizes their commitment to consumer and small business protection and establishing legal precedents in new innovation areas. They stress the importance of clear rules against fraud and scams in emerging technological domains.
Google, preferring not to comment directly on the case, referred inquiries to their official post about the lawsuit.
The malware in question, disguised as Bard, aims to steal users’ social media login details. Google’s legal team explains that the malware particularly targets business and advertiser accounts on major social media platforms, often affecting small businesses.
Google believes the scammers, potentially based in Vietnam, are part of a widespread malware campaign targeting social media credentials, with servers located in Los Angeles.
With AI technology advancing rapidly, there’s a growing concern about sophisticated online scams, including AI deepfake extortion schemes. Law enforcement agencies are alerting the public about these increasing threats. Cybersecurity firm SlashNext has reported a significant spike in phishing emails since the introduction of ChatGPT, underscoring the evolving landscape of cybercriminal activities.