McAfee Predicts AI Powered Disinformation Crypto Scams in 2023

McAfee Corp. has released its 2023 cyber threat predictions today, providing a summary of the important trends and treatments that customers should be aware of in the coming year. This year saw the continuous expansion of cyber fraud, which is unlikely to slow down, as well as increased use of Chrome as an operating system.

The firm shared that the AI tools that are inexpensive and accessible to nearly everyone with a phone or laptop continue to offer substantial ramifications, as do cryptocurrencies and “Web 3.” All of these sets the backdrop for 2023, with advances in how we engage with technology and how bad actors exploit it and us.

McAfee’s 2023 Threat Predictions

These technologies will help cybercrooks and propagandists achieve more realistic results and greater efficiency.

  • Availability of applications for public use: McAfee said that in recent months, anyone with a phone or computer could use AI software to make photos, movies, and sounds.
  • Content creation tools available to the masses: The business added that home and office users can create AI-generated content in minutes. Desktop publishing, photo editing, and cheap photorealistic home printers will offer professional-level outputs.
  • Vulnerabilities with next generation content tools: Desktop publishing and consumer printing advances helped crooks with counterfeiting and image manipulation.

Web3 Threats Will Take Advantage of Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

With the epidemic, Crypto, Bitcoin, and NFTs were hyped up. The result was Web3, a decentralized internet service. Some amateur investors won’t want to miss out on what they see as a terrific opportunity to get rich quick, says McAfee.

Consumers will investigate Web3 offerings without fully understanding what they mean or what hazards to be cautious of, leaving them exposed to scams when they buy in crypto or create their own NFT content. This demographic is what bad actors would target by selling links or apps that play on their crypto or Web3 FOMO.

According to the report, these frauds could lure people to click on a link or download an app that purports to interact with blockchains, but in reality:

  • Not blockchain-compatible
  • Designed to collect traditional currency for useless fees or services.
  • Adware that compromises privacy, time, device performance, data usage, and battery life

Old scams, New Baits

McAfee predicts four new scams that consumers should avoid.
Cryptocurrency Scams: McAfee saw several crypto scams using existing content in 2022. One scam used an old Elon Musk video to double people’s money. McAfee expects deep-fake videos and audio to be used to scam victims in 2023.

  • Investment Scams: Financially, 2023 will be a tough year for most people. During tough times, people often look for ways to make extra money, leaving them vulnerable to social media messages and online ads offering big returns for little investment.
  • Fake Loans: Fake loan scams target desperate victims with attractive schemes from unauthorizing providers. McAfee predicts these scams will rise in 2023, and fake lending applications will give direct loans with high interest rates and short repayment periods.
  • Metaverse: Metaverses like Facebook’s Horizon let users explore inconceivable online worlds. When these platforms are new, scammers try to exploit the lack of understanding of how they work. Further, McAfee anticipates phishing operations to expand as user numbers grow in 2023.

The Rise of ChromeOS Threats

Because of the proliferation of mobile internet, device diversity has increased, paving the way for an increase in Chromebook risks in the coming year. The report claims that Chromebook users will be targeted to download and run harmful malware in 2023. McAffee also warns users that pop-ups and push alerts, or Chrome Web Store extensions, asking users to install untrustworthy programmes should be avoided.

  • ChromeOS’ ability to run Android applications: Widespread adoption attracts more ill-intentioned people. The ultimate vectors affect consumers on several devices. Email and web-based frauds (some of which are in this blog) are as common as ever.
  • Adoption of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): This gives bad people a reason to attack ChromeOS, iOS, MacOS, and Windows with tricks.

McAfee recommends users protect themselves online by using trusted sites for online payments and transactions. As 2023 begins, the business community suggests people be cautious of the material they consume and its sources. Fact-checking photographs, videos, and news content, which is on the rise, will remain important.

According to McAfee, this strategy can also help customers spot falsehoods online. A negative actor with evil intent spreads disinformation on the internet or social media, which people believe to be true.

Users should understand the terms and conditions of any app or service they download, especially those that access a financial institution or currency, traditional or crypto. Use a reputable source and avoid web advertisements.