The Impact on Cybersecurity of Next-Generation Search Engines

In early 2023, Microsoft unveiled Bing Chat, a new AI-powered search engine that utilizes OpenAI’s GPT-4. Given that tech giants rely heavily on advertising revenue, Microsoft promptly introduced ads to Bing Chat after its launch. However, online ads come with inherent risks, as users that search for software downloads can unwittingly end up on malicious websites and install malware through Bing Chat conversations.

Ads can infiltrate Bing Chat conversations in various ways, with threat actors use them to divert users to sites hosting malware. Bing Chat includes some of the same ads as traditional queries. Notably, ads may appear when a user hovers over a link, displaying an ad before the real search result. For added security, users are advised to exercise caution in choosing websites and consider using multiple security tools for enhanced protection.

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Malicious ad served inside Bing’s AI chatbot