There’s a lot of hype around artificial intelligence (AI) these days. And cybercriminals are taking advantage of people’s interest in AI to spread harmful malware through online ads.
The criminals run bogus ads for AI tools and other software on social media sites and on search engines. These savvy cybercriminals can evade detection by systems designed to ferret out malicious advertising. They can also evade anti-virus software.
If you click on a malicious ad, you end up on a cloned site that downloads malware onto your device. But some ads take you to the real software and download the malware through a “backdoor,” which makes it hard to know you got hacked. Then, the criminals could steal your information and sell it to other hackers on the dark web, or get access to your online accounts and scam others.
So, how do you avoid clicking on malicious ads that install malware?
Don't click on ads to download software. If you see an ad for software that piques your interest, don’t click on it. Instead, go to the website by typing in the address.
If you don’t know the website address, search for it. But remember that scammers also place ads on search engines. They’ll appear at the top of your search results page and might have a label that says “Ad” or “Sponsored”. Scroll past those to get to your search results.
Malicious ads might evade anti-virus software, but it’s still a good idea to make sure your computer’s security software, operating system, and Internet browser, and your phone, are up to date. And turn on automatic updates to keep up with the latest protections.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
GREAT INFORMATION. THANK YOU FOR SHARING-PATTY
I trust Consumer Alerts, for all right and wrong !
Just ANOTHER manner they can use SPOOFING APS AGAINST US. THIS HAS TO BE REGULATED. WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS SITTING ON YOUR HANDS UNTIL THE PROBLEM BECOMES INSURMOUNTIBLE? YOU NEED TO NIP THIS IN THE BUD!
Because he tell about to right with me i can to do it
we know these issues, what is the reason allow them to continue?
FBI should be top on those cracking down top sponcer urls google display everyday. I see them everyday and its comment hack method we all know.
TY 4 THE UPDATE. I HAVE ALSO FOUND MY SPAM MAIL FULL OF PORN SITES AND INAPPROPRIATE SITES. TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN AND TEENS LETS BE QUICK TO REMOVE THESE ADS. I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE FTC TO INFORM CONSUMERS. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER IN THE DARK WEB NOW EXPOSED BY NATURAL LIGHT.
media sites and on search engines. These savvy cybercriminals can evade detection by systems desigs