Last month, Open AI launched the official ChatGPT mobile app. However, it is available only for iPhones and is yet to arrive on Google Play Store.

The delayed launch of the ChatGTP Android version has given an opportunity for fraudsters to develop fake apps to hoodwink naive Android phone owners.

Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 cyber research team has uncovered several fake generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot apps such as SuperGPT and others. They come with Meterpreter Trojan, which is capable of causing financial loss to Android phone owners.

The apps even feature fake OpenAI branding and promise to offer to write short summaries of a meeting, or write notes, develop presentations, and other work. However, it never works as advertised; instead, it will take unauthorized permission to read and write messages and subscribe to premium services in foreign nations and thus causing financial loss to the phone owners.

“The emergence of ChatGPT-themed APK malware poses a severe threat to the security and privacy of mobile devices. These types of malware can potentially steal sensitive information, spy on user activities, and cause significant financial losses for unsuspecting victims. To protect themselves against this type of malware, mobile users should take proactive measures, such as installing reputable antivirus software, being cautious when downloading apps from third-party sources, and keeping their devices up to date with the latest security patches,” noted Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 team.

SuperGPT Android app. Credit: Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 cyber research team

Here’s how to safeguard yourself from fake ChatGPT apps:
1) Develop a habit of reading news from reputable media companies. As said earlier, OpenAI has not released the ChatGPT Android version and also, and only Microsoft and a few others such as Shutterstock, Atlassian, Salesforce have formal collaboration with OpenAI.
2) Just don’t blindly install apps from third-party app stores, even if your loved ones send any forwarded messages on WhatsApp or any messenger app. 
3) Even if you find any interesting apps on Google Play Store, please read the reviews below the app. There, you will definitely find tell-tale signs of fake and bad apps. Old app users will let you know whether the app really works as advertised.
4) Also, it is a good practice to know the publisher of an app. Even if the app banner shows that it is created by a familiar or a reputed company, ensure you observe all minute details such as typeface, fonts, and logos, as fake apps tend to have errors in terms of wrong spellings in words and bad grammar.
5) Ensure the Android phone is upgraded with the latest security software. Usually, Google releases monthly updates to Pixels, and some companies roll out firmware once every three months
6) Install anti-virus apps on your phone for the detection and deletion of fake apps 

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By admin