As the end of 2022 saw the release of game-changing applications like OpenAI‘s ChatGPT chatbot and DALL-E 2 image generator, these advanced AI technologies may aid scammers and create new mobile threats, according to a new report released on Monday.
According to McAfee’s 2023 Consumer Mobile Threat Report, cybercriminals can leverage malicious apps by sliding into your DMs, exploiting Bring Your Own Device policies, and targeting teens and tween gamers with phones.
“Our mobile devices are an essential part of our daily lives now more than ever. They allow us to access a wealth of information and entertainment and provide the freedom to be productive from almost anywhere,” McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer, Steve Grobman, commented.
“Unfortunately, they also provide cybercriminals with greater access to potential victims,” he added.
During 2022, approximately 6.2 percent of threats identified on Google were in the “Communication” category, primarily malware masquerading as SMS apps.
However, even legitimate communication apps can provide an opportunity for scammers to use fraudulent messages to trick consumers into clicking on a malicious link.
While these messages may contain spelling or grammar errors or use unusual phrasing, the report stated that the rise of AI tools such as ChatGPT can assist scammers in cleaning up their spelling and grammar mistakes, making it more difficult to detect scam messages.
The gravity of these communication threats is also reflected in the number of adults (66%) who have been messaged on social media by a stranger, with 55 percent being asked to transfer money.
Furthermore, the report stated that approximately 23% of threats discovered were in the “Tools” app category.
Work-related apps for mobile devices, such as PDF editors, VPNs, messaging managers, and so on, are popular targets for malware because users expect the app to require permissions on their phones.
According to the report, approximately 9% of threats identified were Games from app categories such as Casual, Arcade, and Action.
Malicious apps frequently target children’s and teenagers’ favourite activities, such as gaming, video creation, and social media management.
The most common types of threats detected in the gaming category in 2022 were aggressive adware apps that display excessive advertisements both while you’re using the app and even when you’re not.