And that's why CyberLover is potentially dangerous. The purpose of using a dating site is presumably to form new relationships, and to that end you might be tempted to give away a little more information than you otherwise would - especially if you were talking to a piece of software designed to wheedle personal details from you.
CyberLover could prove to be the vanguard of a new form of malware. As usual, soft targets have been chosen initially, but it isn't difficult to imaging other scenarios where people might be persuaded to reveal valuable information in the belief they are talking to another human.
PC Tools officials say CyberLover is currently targeting users of Russian web sites, but they urge residents of other countries - especially users of social networking and dating sites - to be on their guard against this and similar software.
They also recommend the usual precautions - don't give out personal information, use an alias, watch family members' online behaviour and make sure they are aware of the dangers, and use up to date antispyware and antivirus software with real-time and behavioural protection.
"CyberLover has been designed as a bot that lures victims automatically, without human intervention. If it's spawned in multiple instances on multiple servers, the number of potential victims could be very substantial," said Shevchenko.
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