'Unpublished' Version Of Bard Is Actually A Malware, And Google Fights Back


Generative AI is the hype, and it pretty much changed everything.

Everything because AI rarely made ripples beyond its own realm, and captivate people besides researchers and enthusiasts. With generative AIs, popularized by OpenAI's ChatGPT, the technology is shifting how people interact with computers.

This sent the tech sphere into frenzy.

One of them, is Google.

The tech giant that piggybacks the trend, released Bard.

And this time, according to a blog post from Google, the company is filing a lawsuit because hackers are making use of the generative AI trend to make Bard look bad.

Read: 'Code Red': OpenAI's ChatGPT Forces Google Founders To Leave Their 'Retirement'

At this time, Bard only exists on the web.

Because there is no standalone app for Bard, the only way people can use Bard is to open their web browser, and visit the website Google made for Bard.

Bad actors know how high the demand is for Google's generative AI, and because of that, they created an "unpublished" version of Bard, which is actually a malware.

By downloading and installing this fake Bard, people will become victims of a malware that steals social media credentials.

Because of this, Google is suing scammers who are trying to use the hype around generative AI to trick people into downloading the malware, the company has announced.

The company is taking legal action "to protect users of AI and small businesses."

In a lawsuit filed by the company in California, the company said that individuals believed to be based in Vietnam are setting up social media pages, on Facebook in particular, and running ads encouraging users to "download" its generative AI service Bard.

"Defendants are three individuals whose identities are unknown who claim to provide, among other things, 'the latest version' of Google Bard for download," the lawsuit reads.

"Defendants are not affiliated with Google in any way, though they pretend to be. They have used Google trademarks, including Google, Google AI, and Bard to lure unsuspecting victims into downloading malware onto their computers."

Google Bard is available free of charge, only at bard.google.com.

Similar to cryptocurrency scams that plagued social media and the web in the past, this lawsuit filed by Google shows interest in an emerging technology can be weaponized against people who may not fully understanding how it operates.

Google said that ut has submitted around 300 takedown requests concerning this malicious Bard app.

But in order to prevent something like this to happen in the future, it needs more than just takedowns.

This is where the lawsuit play its role.

With it, Google wants to the prevent the scammers from setting up future malicious domains, and wants them to be disabled with U.S. domain registrars.

"Lawsuits are an effective tool for establishing a legal precedent, disrupting the tools used by scammers, and raising the consequences for bad actors," said Google’s general counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado.