Wednesday Newsbytes: Beware Fake Windows News Site; Co-Pilot Coming to Windows 10?; Don’t Download the Google Bard App; Google Forces New Look for Chrome… and more!
Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!
Don’t trust everything you see on Google ads
Someone has been impersonating a known media publication and abusing the Google Ads advertising network, all to deliver the RedLine infostealer malware to people.
A new report from Malwarebytes, found a fake WindowsReport website that was being hosted on almost a dozen different domains.
On the website, the scammers hosted a trojanized version of CPU-Z, a popular utility tool for Windows that helps users track different hardware components such as CPU clock rates, and similar. The tool, in fact, was RedLine Stealer, a known infostealer capable of exfiltrating sensitive system data, stored passwords, payment information, cookies, cryptocurrency wallet information, and more.
Multiple similar campaigns
Then, they created ads and ran them on the Google Ads network, promoting this malicious version of CPU-Z. The cloning of WindowsReport was done to add more legitimacy and trustworthiness to the whole campaign, the researchers speculate. But before users are sent to this website, they’re pulled through a number of redirects, all to evade Google’s anti-abuse crawlers.
Some users are redirected to benign pages, while others – those more suitable to receive RedLine – are redirected to the final website. We don’t know exactly how the attackers choose their victims…
Windows 10 could get its own AI helper
Following the rollout of its Copilot artificial intelligence assistant to all Windows 11 users last week, the company is now rumored to be bringing it to Windows 10. This would put the chatbot in the hands of more than a billion people and significantly expand its reach.
Able to control settings such as wallpaper and night mode, generate content, and summarize web pages through the Edge browsers — Microsoft has positioned its AI as a way to turn any Windows user into a super user.
With about 400 million users on Windows 11 and more than a billion on Windows 10, adding Copilot to the older OS makes sense, especially when Microsoft is trying to convince developers to build plugins for the chatbot.
Why bring it to Windows 10 now?
These plugins are similar to those found in ChatGPT, bringing live data and other tools into the chatbot such as flight information, advanced calculations and the ability to read a PDF. Microsoft is working directly with developers to build out these tools and expanding the user base would provide an additional incentive for more developers to come onboard…
Scammers are exploiting Google Bard and tricking people into downloading malware, but there are some easy ways to avoid it.
Scammers are taking advantage of Google’s generative AI tool, Bard, to infect unsuspecting users with dangerous malware and steal their login credentials.
Although Google has filed a lawsuit to tackle the malware, the scammers are still up and running, and that’s why you should avoid downloading anything like a “Google Bard app.” It’s malware waiting to infect your device.
What Is Google Bard?
Google Bard was launched in March 2023 and is Google’s answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. While offering similar functionalities, it doesn’t perform as extensively as ChatGPT—which is what scammers have been exploiting to infect devices with malware.
There are many ways to use Google Bard. You can enter a prompt asking Google Bard to explain how something works, give you ideas for a project, and even write code for you.
The key issue is that Google Bard is only available in browsers and requires a Google account. So, don’t be tempted to install an app advertised as Google Bard, as it’s malware that Google is taking legal action to take down.
Why You Shouldn’t Download the Google Bard App
On November 13, 2023, Google announced on its official blog, The Keyword, that it’s filing a lawsuit and taking legal action against scammers said to be based in Vietnam…
Is the Chrome redesign wasting valuable space? Some users feel that way
Google’s design revamp for its web browser has exited testing and is now rolling out to users of the release version of the Chrome – and if you’re not keen on it, there’s something that can be done.
The Chrome redesign, which you may have already got – or it could be coming to your browser soon – offers a typically modernized contemporary look that includes rounded corners (everywhere, from the app window to all core interface elements). The likes of icons have also been refreshed, too.
While that’s all well and good, there are other tweaks that have been less well-received, shall we say.
That includes increased spacing between buttons for a more touch-friendly interface – which means bigger overall menus, an irritation for those who don’t use a touchscreen…
The “bounties” feature has mostly been used to recreate women (big surprise.)
Civitai, an online marketplace for sharing AI models, just introduced a new feature called “bounties” to encourage its community to develop passable deepfakes of real people, as originally reported by 404 Media. Whoever concocts the best AI model gets a virtual currency called “Buzz” that users can buy with actual money.
Many of the bounties posted to the site ask users to recreate the likeness of celebrities and social media influencers, most of them female. The reporting also calls out the lion’s share of these results as “nonconsensual sexual images.” This is the kind of thing that has been proliferating across the internet for years and years, but artificial intelligence allows for a more realistic end result. Additionally, 404 Media found some requests for private people with no significant online presence, making this even more creepy.
“I am very afraid of what this can become,” Michele Alves, an Instagram influencer who has a bounty on Civitai, told 404 Media. “I don’t know what measures I could take, since the internet seems like a place out of control.”…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope these articles were informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC