By Ankita Chakravarti: ChatGPT app is yet to be launched for Android users. And if you find any app that claims to be ChatGPT, you should refrain from using them as those apps could be dangerous malware, designed to steal your personal information.A recent report has shown that there is a growing problem with malware on Android phones. Malware is a harmful software that can cause damage or steal information from your phone. In this case, the malware is pretending to be a popular AI chatbot called ChatGPT, which many people use.
The researchers from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 discovered this malware. They found that it started to appear around the same time that OpenAI released GPT-3.5 and GPT-4. These malware variants specifically target people who are interested in using the ChatGPT tool.
There are two types of active malware that the researchers identified. One is called a Meterpreter Trojan, and it disguises itself as an app called “SuperGPT.” The other malware pretends to be the actual ChatGPT app, but it secretly sends messages to expensive phone numbers in Thailand.
The researchers also came across a malicious Android Package Kit (APK) sample, which is a type of file used to install applications on Android devices. This malicious APK turned out to be a modified version of an original app. The legitimate app is an AI assistant based on the latest version of ChatGPT. If someone falls for the trick and installs this malicious version, it allows the attacker to take control of the person’s Android phone remotely.
Furthermore, the researchers discovered another group of malware samples in APK format. These samples appear innocent on the surface, showing a webpage with information about ChatGPT. However, they hide a malicious purpose beneath the surface, as revealed in the report.
What makes these malware samples even more deceptive is that they use the logo of OpenAI, the organization behind ChatGPT, as their application icon. This adds to the misleading story that these apps are associated with the legitimate ChatGPT AI tool.
These malicious APK samples have the ability to send SMS messages to expensive premium-rate numbers in Thailand. Premium-rate numbers cost more than regular phone numbers and are typically used for services where users pay for information or some kind of service. However, in this case, the malware creators are using these numbers to make money through scams and fraudulent activities.
To protect yourself, it’s crucial to be cautious when downloading apps on your Android phone. Stick to trusted sources and be wary of apps that may pretend to be something they’re not, especially if they claim to be related to ChatGPT.