Ever since its introduction, Microsoft’s Bing Chat has been making waves in various news outlets, and unfortunately, not all of the attention has been favorable. A fresh issue has emerged for this artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, as it has been discovered to occasionally direct users to websites hosting malicious software that can potentially compromise their PCs.
As outlined in a report from the reputable cybersecurity company Malwarebytes, Bing Chat is displaying malware advertisements that redirect them to download malware-infected software.
The security experts at the firm have pointed out that these ads, contaminated with malware, closely resemble the widely used utility called Advanced IP Scanner. Researchers have observed that when users inquire about downloading this software through Bing Chat, the chatbot provides links within the conversation, with sponsored links typically displayed at the top.
When users click on the sponsored link, they are directed to a website that employs techniques to distinguish between automated bots and web crawlers from genuine human users. This differentiation is based on the analysis of various factors such as timezone and IP address. Subsequently, real human users are redirected to a deceptive website named ‘advenced-ip-scanner[.]com,’ where they are prompted to download an installer that is unfortunately infected with malware.
This incident underscores the need for Microsoft to enhance its efforts in safeguarding its users against malicious advertisements that are distributed through Bing Chat. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable to exercise caution when clicking on links provided by Bing Chat. It might be prudent to rely on a conventional search engine and consider installing an ad blocker to proactively prevent potentially harmful advertisements from reaching your device.
Meanwhile, launched earlier this year, Bing Chat represents a shift towards a more engaging and interactive search experience, distinguishing itself from conventional search engines such as Google Search. Powered by GPT-4 AI technology, this chatbot is a prime illustration of the rapid evolution of cyber threats. It serves as a stark reminder that users should exercise caution and avoid clicking on search results indiscriminately, as the digital landscape is constantly evolving.