Scammers are taking advantage of the immense popularity of ChatGPT, an advanced natural language processing AI, by impersonating it to spread a dangerous Trojan malware known as Fobo. The main aim of this scam is to steal sensitive login credentials of business accounts, which can be used for fraudulent purposes. These scammers are exploiting the public’s trust and interest in ChatGPT to spread their malicious campaigns across different regions of the world. This highlights the critical need for users to be vigilant and cautious while interacting with online services to avoid falling prey to such malicious schemes.
ChatGPT, the world’s most advanced chatbot, created by OpenAI in November, has quickly become a huge success. Users overwhelmed the platform with requests for everything from marketing copy to poetry and philosophical discussions. To cope with the demand, OpenAI introduced a subscription plan that bypasses the slowdowns. The platform’s popularity has even sparked a meme comparing its rapid ascent to that of other major apps, with ChatGPT taking only five days to reach 1 million users, while it took Netflix 3.5 years, Facebook 10 months, and Spotify five months.
As with any major news story such as COVID-19 or the Ukraine war, hackers are using the buzz around ChatGPT to lure unsuspecting victims into phishing scams. Kaspersky recently reported on a new campaign that involves social media impersonation tactics to direct users to a fake ChatGPT landing page. Once there, users are prompted to “sign up,” which actually downloads the Fobo Trojan that steals sensitive information. The Trojan specifically targets business account credentials, potentially enabling attackers to launch larger, more damaging attacks.
According to the report, this blatant scam has already spread to Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Faking ChatGPT to Hack Business Accounts
According to Kaspersky researchers, scammers are creating social media accounts that mimic the OpenAI/ChatGPT brand or purport to be fan communities for the popular chatbot. These accounts post content related to ChatGPT, with a link at the bottom leading to a malicious site. In some cases, the scammers offer fake credentials for pre-created accounts, claiming they provide access to ChatGPT and have a $50 balance. However, the real ChatGPT program is free to use for the general public, with an optional subscription plan. The fake ChatGPT landing page closely resembles the real one, fooling unsuspecting users who fall for the scam.
The act of clicking the “download” button, which is already suspicious since ChatGPT lacks a desktop client, initiates the installation of an executable file. Kaspersky researchers have stated that if this archive is unpacked and the executable file is executed, the user may either receive a message indicating that the installation failed for some reason, or no message at all, which implies that the process has ended.
However, in the background, a Trojan horse has been released. The Trojan horse seeks login credentials for various applications like Google, Facebook, and TikTok, which are stored in the victim’s browser. It specifically targets usernames and passwords for business accounts.
If the attackers obtain employee usernames and passwords, they may be able to execute more significant attacks on businesses. The researchers have explained that if the Trojan horse detects a business account on any of these services, it will attempt to collect additional information, such as the amount of money spent on advertising from the account and its current balance.
How to Avoid ChatGPT Scams
The decision to use ChatGPT as a means for those campaign was not accidental. ChatGPT is widely used in business settings for a variety of purposes, including writing emails, creating marketing materials, and conducting research.
To avoid interacting with a malicious fake, Kaspersky advised individuals to refrain from engaging with “offers” like the one presented in this article, employ security software, and avoid clicking on links. It is better to utilize a search engine or manually enter the URL into the browser.
To sum up, the threat of hackers posing as ChatGPT to pilfer login credentials is a severe issue that should not be overlooked. The ramifications of such attacks are extensive and could be catastrophic for individuals, businesses, and entire industries. As technology progresses, we can anticipate that these attacks will become more sophisticated and challenging to detect. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals and organizations to adopt preventative measures to safeguard themselves, such as regularly modifying passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and being watchful for signs of phishing attacks. Only by cooperating and taking these precautions can we hope to mitigate the hazards of hackers impersonating ChatGPT and other forms of cybercrime in the future.
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