In a move to combat fraudulent activities, Google has filed a lawsuit against scammers who purportedly distributed a malware-infected version of its Bard AI software. The legal action, filed in California, accuses individuals based in Vietnam of creating social media pages and running ads to entice users into downloading what was presented as an “unpublished” Bard AI software. Contrary to expectations, this version of Bard was reportedly filled with malware instead of providing the intended chatbot functionality.
According to the lawsuit, the scammers exploited Facebook as their primary distribution method, enticing users to download the malicious Bard software. Once downloaded, the malware reportedly infiltrated users’ systems, stealing passwords and social media credentials.
Google, in an official blog post, revealed that it had issued over 300 takedown requests before resorting to legal action. The objective of the lawsuit is not financial compensation but rather an injunction to prevent the alleged fraudsters from establishing similar domains, particularly with US-based domain registrars. Google aims for this legal action to act as a deterrent, offering a clear mechanism to thwart similar scams in the future.
The lawsuit underscores the vulnerability of emerging technologies to exploitation by malicious actors targeting consumer confusion. The scammers falsely presented Bard as a paid service requiring a download, whereas, in reality, it is a free web service.
This legal move by Google signals its commitment to protecting users from deceptive practices and maintaining the integrity of its products in the face of evolving threats in the tech landscape.