Phishing, AI/ML, Generative AI

Malware, scams promoted by Google AI-powered search algorithms

Google search ads abused to spread ransomware by ALPHV/BlackCat gang

Malicious websites redirecting to fraudulent giveaways, tech support scams, and spam subscriptions were discovered by search engine optimization expert Lily Ray to have been pushed by Google's newly launched artificial intelligence-based Search Generative Experience functionality, reports BleepingComputer.

Further examination of SGE conducted by BleepingComputer revealed that similar HTML templates and TLDs have been used by the malicious sites recommended by the algorithm, suggesting their involvement in the same SEO poisoning campaign. Most of the sites were noted to have redirected to fraudulent CAPTCHA challenges and YouTube sites that seek browser notifications, which when activated enable unwanted ads, including a fake McAfee antivirus alert claiming system infections. Google has noted that persistent updates are being conducted to avert spam sites but users could also prevent unwanted browser notifications by modifying browser settings. "We continue to update our advanced spam-fighting systems to keep spam out of Search, and we utilize these anti-spam protections to safeguard SGE. We've taken action under our policies to remove the examples shared, which were showing up for uncommon queries," said Google.

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