In a recent legal move, Google has taken a stand against a trio of anonymous scammers, referred to as “DOES 1-3,” who have orchestrated a scheme involving a counterfeit version of Google’s AI chatbot, Bard. This malicious version deceives users into downloading and installing malware on their devices, prompting Google to file a lawsuit on November 13.
The lawsuit alleges that the scammers exploited Google’s trademarks, including “Google,” “Google AI,” and “Bard,” to craft deceptive advertisements for purported updates to the AI chatbot. These misleading ads, often found on social media platforms, create an illusion of legitimacy, enticing unsuspecting victims to download free versions of Bard and other AI products.
Once users follow the provided links, they inadvertently download the malware. The malware is designed to compromise users’ social media login credentials, with a primary focus on businesses and advertisers. Google is seeking damages, attorneys’ fees, permanent injunctive relief, the scammers’ profits, a comprehensive restraining order, and any other appropriate remedies deemed by the court.
The legal action reflects a broader trend as AI services, including chatbots, experience a surge in global users. Google’s Bard bot alone attracts 49.7 million unique visitors monthly, while OpenAI’s ChatGPT boasts over 100 million monthly users and nearly 1.5 billion monthly website visitors.
As the landscape of AI services continues to evolve, legal scrutiny and efforts to combat misuse become integral to maintaining trust and integrity within the industry.