A new software program that mimics online flirtation in a bid to extract personal information is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, says 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.
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.
Says Mike Greene, vice president of product strategy at PC Tools:
"People are used to not opening attachments or maybe not clicking on a link that shows up in their IM," he said. "But this emulates a real conversation, so you more are likely to give over personal information, click on a link or send your photograph."
At the moment, the program is targeting only Russian Web sites, though PC Tools is urging people in chat rooms and social networks elsewhere to be on the alert for such attackers.
Guess what, the software company believes that CyberLover's creators are planning a worldwide release in February. Perhaps BALTHOR might want to give his opinion on this.
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.