Slutbot: Something from an X-rated version of Star Wars? See-Through-PO, perhaps?

Slutbot: Something from an X-rated version of Star Wars? See-Through-PO, perhaps?

Sounds like every robot's dream machine, but for real people sitting at their computers, this sex machine could end up draining more than your battery power.

So this is a very naughty computer program?

Russian criminals have developed a new software that can pose as a woman of loose morals, using its powers of seduction to lure hapless gentlemen into her virtual boudoir. Once she's got them in her web, she fleeces them for all they've got.


What? They've replicated my wife?

CyberLover is a rather clever program that can take part in chatroom discussions and flirt online. The sad chap at the receiving end thinks he's talking to a particularly amenable lady, but doesn't realise he's actually talking to a cold-hearted cyber gold-digger who's out to empty his wallet - and bank account, credit-card account, etc.

But surely any bloke with cop-on would guess that his online friend is artificial? Wouldn't she give something away?

Like those replicants in Blade Runner, CyberLover is adept at disguising its true configuration. It can establish a relationship with up to 10 people in just half an hour, and it can adopt different disguises depending on the tastes of its target. So your virtual vixen can appear to be whoever you want her to be.

What kind of an idiot would fall for this ruse?

While guys who visit internet sex chatrooms may not be stupid, you could say they're not exactly thinking with their brains. CyberLover may be sophisticated but it would not yet pass the Turing Test. This was proposed by Alan Turing in 1950 to determine the capability of a machine to demonstrate intelligence.

But this CyberLover is one smart cookie

Smart enough to get netwatchers buzzing about the new wave of "social engineering attacks", in which criminals use trickery to get people's personal details, instead of the traditional virus or spyware.

So how did this fatal fembot get rumbled?

Security software firm PC Tools got wind of the programme, saying it has beenplying its trade in Russian chatrooms, and warning that it may start working further afield.

"As a tool that can be used by hackers to conduct identity fraud, CyberLover demonstrates an unprecedented level of social engineering," said the company's senior malware analyst, Sergei Shevchenko.

Try at home:

"So you're tall, blonde and like married men over 50? Here are my credit-card details!"

Try at work:

"Good news, boss! We've developed a net-nun to defeat the slutbot!"

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist