Advanced AI like ChatGPT leads to new mobile threats, aids scammers: Report

New Delhi, Feb 27 : As the end of 2022 saw the release of some game-changing applications such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot and DALL-E 2 image generator, these advanced AI technologies may lead to aid scammers and create new mobile threats, a new report said on Monday.

According to the 2023 Consumer Mobile Threat Report by cyber-security research firm McAfee, cybercriminals can leverage malicious apps by sliding into your DMs, taking advantage of Bring Your Own Device policies, and targeting teens and tween gamers with phones.

“Our mobile devices are an essential part of our daily lives now more than ever. They allow us to access a wealth of information and entertainment and provide the freedom to be productive from almost anywhere,” said Steve Grobman, Chief Technology Officer, McAfee.

“Unfortunately, they also provide cybercriminals with greater access to potential victims,” he added.

About 6.2 per cent of threats identified on Google during 2022 were in the “Communication” category, mainly malware masquerading as SMS apps.

But even legitimate communication apps can create an opportunity for scammers, using fraudulent messages to trick consumers into clicking on a malicious link.

While these messages sometimes contain spelling or grammar errors or use odd phrasing, the emergence of AI tools like ChatGPT can help scammers clean up their spelling and grammar mistakes, making it tougher to spot scam messages, said the report.

The severity of these Communication threats is also evident in the volume of adults by 66 per cent who have been messaged by a stranger on social media, with 55 per cent asked to transfer money.

Moreover, the report stated that around 23 per cent of threats identified were in the “Tools” app category.

As work-related apps like PDF editors, VPNs, messaging managers, etc. for mobile devices are great productivity boosters, these types of apps are targeted for malware because people expect the app to require permissions on their phones.

Further, the report mentioned that about 9 per cent of threats identified were Games from app categories such as Casual, Arcade and Action.

Malicious apps frequently target activities that children and teenagers enjoy, such as gaming, video creation, and social media management.

In 2022, the most common types of threats detected in the gaming category were aggressive adware apps that display excessive advertisements while you’re using the app and even when you’re not.