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Germany

Skype Users, Don't Click On That Link! Dorkbot Danger Lurks

LOS ANGELES TIMES(U.S.), STERN, DER SPIEGEL (Germany)

Worldcrunch

A virus called Dorkbot is working its way through Skype users around the world. When users click on the English- or German-language come-on, malware is installed in their computer and it becomes part of a botnet, a network of remote-controlled computers that can conduct denial-of-service attacks.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in some cases, computers have even been frozen and held for ransom remotely, with users asked to send $200 so their computers will be returned to normal.

The Skype message to users, which appears to be from a known friend or acquaintance, reads in English “lol is this your new profile pic?” and in German “Hallo, sag mal ehrlich sind das deine Fotos?” reports Der Spiegel.

The link below looks as if it leads to Google and includes the user’s name. But when the user clicks on it, a Trojan horse inserts itself into the user’s computer. The malware affects Linux and Mac computers but is mainly aimed at Windows users, according to German magazine Stern. It becomes active only on Windows, and can prevent users from accessing certain web browsers. It also sends the virus message to all of the newly infected computer’s Skype contacts.

Skype forum managers have recommended that users change their Skype passwords and that those affected use free program Malwarebyte to get rid of the virus, Stern added. Skype confirmed on Tuesday that the virus is affecting users and urged them to update the program to get the best protection. The worm was discovered by Trend Micro, a computer security firm, according to the Los Angeles Times.


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Future

Hey ChatGPT, Are You A Google Killer? That's The Wrong Prompt People

Reports that the new AI natural-language chatbot is a threat to Google's search business fails to see that the two machines serve very different functions.

Photo of bubbles exploding

Mind blowing power

DeepMind
Tristan Greene

Since OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT to the world last November, people have wasted little time finding imaginative uses for the eerily human-like chatbot. They have used it to generate code, create Dungeons & Dragons adventures and converse on a seemingly infinite array of topics.

Now some in Silicon Valley are speculating that the masses might come to adopt the ChatGPT-style bots as an alternative to traditional internet searches.

Microsoft, which made an early $1 billion investment in OpenAI, plans to release an implementation of its Bing search engine that incorporates ChatGPT before the end of March. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Google has declared “code red” over fears ChatGPT could pose a significant threat to its $149-billion-dollar-a-year search business.

Could ChatGPT really be on the verge of disrupting the global search engine industry?

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