Russians have developed a website that can produce realistic flirtatious conversation via internet chat to trick the unwary into giving it sensitive personal data that could be used to clone that person's identity.
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The website, CyberLover.ru, is in Russian, but an English version may be available in February.
PC Tools, an Australian anti-virus firm, said CyberLover can hold fully automated flirtatious conversations with users of chat-rooms and dating sites to persuade them to share their identity or visit websites with malicious content.
According to its creators, CyberLover can establish a new relationship with up to 10 partners in just 30 minutes and its victims cannot distinguish it from a human being.
Sergei Shevchenko, senior malware analyst at PC Tools, said it also monitors victims' internet browser activity, automatically recognises and fills in fields in the web pages, generates keystrokes and mouse clicks, and posts messages, URLs, files and photos.
Shevchenko said this software could be the catalyst for a dangerous new trend in malware evolution. "As a tool that can be used by hackers to conduct identity fraud, CyberLover demonstrates an unprecedented level of social engineering," he said. "It employs highly intelligent and customised dialogue to target users of social networking systems."
According to PC Tools, CyberLover uses profiles ranging from "romantic lover" to "sexual predator" in a series of configurable "dialogue scenarios" with pre-programmed questions and discussion topics. It recognises the responses of chat-room users and tailors its interaction accordingly.
It also compiles a detailed report on every person it meets and submits them to a remote source. These contain confidential information that the victim has shared with the bot. It may also invite victims to visit a "personal website" or blog this could be a fake page that could infect visitors with malware.