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Don't Trust Links From AI!

Published 3 months ago • 1 min read

Issue #9

Don’t Trust Links From AI!

Ahoy there, fellow Netizens! This week, let’s talk about Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE). This combines AI with Google Search to provide an AI generated answer to your questions.

Lily Ray, an SEO specialist and DJ, found that SGE includes malicious links as part of its AI generated answers. If you search for “Walmart auto center,” for example, she found you’ll get an AI generated summary of Walmart’s auto services, instructions to make an appointment, and a single link. While you might expect that link to go to Walmart’s website, it is instead malicious.

When Ray clicked on it, it took her to a site that seems ready to play a video and instructs you to “click allow to watch the video.” This is a scam—there’s no video, and clicking “allow” will give the site permission to send you annoying and malicious browser notifications, just like the “click ‘allow’ if you are not a robot” scam.

Ray did not say if she clicked “allow,” but within five minutes her screen displayed a fake virus warning, telling her access to her computer had been blocked and to call a number for “support.” This is a classic tech support scam and the phone number is a direct line to scammers.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. As Ray’s posts on X show, malicious and spam links are showing up frequently in Google’s SGE. And while SGE is currently in beta, it will probably roll out for everyone soon, so be careful about what you click!

Until next time, stay safe out there!

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Rebecca Morris

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