Fake AI and other software ads distribute malicious software.


There is a lot of hype around artificial intelligence (AI) these days. And cybercriminals are leveraging people’s interest in AI to spread harmful malware through online ads.

The criminals run fake ads for AI tools and other software on social media and search engines. These clever cybercriminals can avoid being detected by systems designed to release malicious ads. You can also bypass antivirus software.

If you click on a malicious ad, you end up on a cloned site that downloads malware to your device. But some ads take you to the real software and download the malware through a “backdoor,” making it harder to know you’ve been hacked. Then, the criminals can steal your information and sell it to other hackers on the dark web, or access your online accounts and defraud others.

So how do you avoid clicking on malicious ads that install malware?

Do not click ads to download software. If you see an ad for software that piques your interest, don’t click on it. Go to the website by typing the address instead.

If you don’t know the website address, look it up. But remember that scammers place ads on search engines. They appear at the top of your search results page and may be labeled “advertising” or “sponsored.” Scroll past those to get to your search results.

Malicious ads can escape antivirus software, but it’s still a good idea to make sure your computer’s security software, operating system, and Internet browser and phone are up-to-date. And turn on automatic updates to keep up with the latest protections.

If you have problems, follow these steps to remove malware or find a hacked account.

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