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FraudGPT - The threat e-advertising segment cannot ignore

Posted by Huzefa Hakim | September 8, 2023

FraudGPT - The threat e-advertising segment cannot ignore

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital advertising, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has presented both opportunities and challenges. While AI has revolutionized the way businesses target and engage their audiences, it has also given rise to a formidable adversary – FraudGPT.

19.2% of marketers spent more than 40% of their marketing budget on AI-driven campaigns. While the industry is slowly gaining traction towards automating the e-advertising process, the challenges and threats posed by ad fraud and complementary tools like FraudGPT have raised serious concerns. 

From high-level generative content to coding scripts, FraudGPT could send chills down the spine of marketers. In this blog, we will delve into what FraudGPT is, its features, how it is leveraged for malicious activities, and the repercussions it carries for the e-advertising sector.

What is FraudGPT?

The dark web version of ChatGPT it is a sophisticated text-generation model. It was noticed being advertised by the researchers at Netenrich in July 2023. Developed with the aim of creating human-like text, it has been harnessed by malicious actors to produce convincing, yet entirely fabricated content. This content can take the form of reviews, comments, articles, and even social media posts. The purpose? To deceive both humans and machines into taking actions that serve the ulterior motives of these adversaries.

In one of the tests conducted to try this tool by the same researchers, it generated a phishing message by taking minimal inputs like the bank’s name and produced highly sophisticated output. It went to the extent of stating where the malicious link with malware could be placed between the messages.

Features of FraudGPT

  1. Ease of usage- The layout and the design are a replica of ChatGPT with user queries on the left-hand side and a search bar for giving prompts. Thus, anyone who has used ChatGPT at even a basic level can use this tool easily.
  2. Language proficiency- Like any generative AI mode, FraudGPT generates output in highly proficient language with words that can sound technical and sophisticated at the same time. This is further used to win the trust of the victims who receive these e-mails and messages without being aware of their source of generation.
  3. Contextual Understanding- Unlike earlier generations of AI models, FraudGPT possesses an advanced contextual understanding of topics, enabling it to generate content that appears coherent and contextually relevant, thereby increasing the likelihood of deceiving readers.

How is it being used to carry out malicious activities?

  1. Writing malicious codes- Based on the information obtained from dark web users, the tool can be used for writing malicious codes. For example, if a bot is to be programmed that click on the first search result on Google for a specific keyword, FraudGPT can generate the same within seconds.
  2. Create undetectable malware- Malware is usually embedded within a link that is sent to users through messages and e-mails. Once clicked or opened, it gets installed in the user’s device which can be used to extract confidential information from the user’s device. FraudGPT has been doing rounds for creating malware that goes undetectable through its robust coding capabilities.
  3. Finding leaks and vulnerabilities- There are several digital assets which may not be secured by anti-fraud solutions. The vulnerabilities of such assets to ad fraud, phishing attacks and other types of fraud are generally high. FraudGPT is said to be capable of exposing these vulnerabilities which can further be used to understand the magnitude of fraud that can be executed on such assets.


Is e-advertising at threat? How can this affect advertisers and publishers?

  1. Click fraud- Given the highly advanced coding capabilities of FraudGPT, it can be used to write codes like creating a script to generate a specific number of clicks on an ad in a given website. By doing so, fraudsters can execute click fraud in no time which will tarnish the publisher’s reputation as well as consume the e-advertising budget of advertisers like a parasite.
  2. Reduced Monetization- A business that is accused of targeting leads through fake messages will indirectly receive fewer interactions on its ads. As a result, the monetization opportunities of associated publishers will drastically reduce. 
  3. Carding and related fraud- FraudGPT is said to be capable of creating undetectable malware. In such situations, there would be a high chance of a sudden increase in carding and other attacks in the e-commerce segment. Moreover, through lead generation campaigns, the malware can be attached to the CTA links which will harm the lead generation process in the e-advertising space. This will cause huge damage to advertisers

As the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, the threat posed by FraudGPT cannot be ignored. Its sophisticated capabilities make it a potent weapon in the hands of cybercriminals and unscrupulous individuals, capable of undermining the integrity of e-advertising efforts. Advertisers and publishers must remain vigilant, invest in robust fraud detection and prevention measures, and collaborate with ad fraud management companies like ClearTrust to protect their interests and maintain the trust of their audiences in this dynamic and challenging environment.