Flirtbot: I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Russian chatroom denizens are falling afoul of a social-engineering chatbot that, rather than injecting malware into a target system, gets those flawed, flawed humans to divulge their personal info.
A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools.
The artificial intelligence of CyberLover's automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the "bot" from a real potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contact information, and photos.
"As a tool that can be used by hackers to conduct identity fraud, CyberLover demonstrates an unprecedented level of social engineering," PC Tools senior malware analyst Sergei Shevchenko said in a statement.
Among CyberLover's creepy features is its ability to offer a range of different profiles from "romantic lover" to "sexual predator." It can also lead victims to a "personal" Web site, which could be used to deliver malware, PC Tools said.
Hang on-- thirty relationships in ten minutes? Isn't that the whole goal of speed dating? It kind of makes me wonder (because it's Saturday, and that's my day to wonder) if this sort of thing hasn't happened between real people face to face. Okay, so there are no links to click at a tiny table in a rented hotel conference room, but still.