October 3, 2023

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ChatGPT Security Risks

Cybersecurity threats: ChatGPT

ChatGPT: What it is and why it’s so popular.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an AI-driven chatbot that offers context-based chat-based support. It uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to provide text-based assistance. It has grown in popularity due to its ability to produce text that reads like human beings based on chat context. ChatGPT is used by researchers, programmers, hackers, and students worldwide to produce language that appears to have meaning.

Why online criminals see ChatGPT as a new friend.

Yes, you read that right—hackers are utilizing ChatGPT to produce language that makes sense. In a TechCrunch study, ChatGPT refused to write a phishing email that appeared to be real, stating that it was not designed to produce damaging or dangerous information. Yet, after a few failed attempts, they were able to produce authentic phishing messages.

This gives those in the field of cybercrime a wide range of new opportunities. While ChatGPT cannot be used to generate harmful codes or tools directly, it can be used to plan and develop some of them.

It is troubling because a lack of technical expertise deters prospective threat actors from acting criminally. The barrier to using the dark web has been removed because this program is now accessible to everyone on the clear web. Newcomers, aspirants, and script kids can easily pick up the basics with ChatGPT without leaving the safety of the “clear web.”

It only highlights how hazardous ChatGPT may be, particularly given its capacity to allow less experienced criminals to use advanced phishing and cyberattacking techniques. Unfortunately, ChatGPT makes it possible for even novice cybercriminals to conduct sophisticated assaults.

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Dangers for SMEs

This means an increased risk of cyberattacks for small and medium-sized businesses. One recent study claims that AI-based Chat assistants like ChatGPT can be used to organize malicious chat-based social engineering attacks on customers and SMEs by simulating conversations with humans.

Attackers who are not even fluent in the language could conduct social engineering attacks using the text produced by AI-powered chat assistants.

Cybersecurity Under Attack

AI-assisted chatbots like ChatGPT provide another legitimate cybersecurity threat in that they can be used to disseminate false information in crucial industries, including cybersecurity, defense, and medical research. Experts employ AI-driven transformers to swiftly identify false information by conducting fact checks across various sources to catch AI-generated misinformation. Nevertheless, as shown by a study carried out in 2021 by researchers at the University of Maryland, AI-driven chat assistants like ChatGPT also utilize transformers that may quickly generate reports while eluding cybersecurity professionals.

It was also discovered that chatbots powered by artificial intelligence might degrade the effectiveness of cybersecurity by feeding false information to threat intelligence that is used to automate cybersecurity responses. Also, this can prevent the experts from focusing on the real vulnerability that has to be fixed.

Cyber threats based on ChatGPT

According to cybersecurity experts, ChatGPT mostly poses the following online dangers:

  •  Compromise of Business Email – Makes phishing easier and more effective.
  • The creation of harmful code puts SMEs at risk if their security is limited.
  • Automated attacks – Customized complex attacks threaten businesses.
  • Simulating offense and defense – Using ChatGPT to find vulnerabilities, allowing the threats to become more effective.

Is there a defense against ChatGPT-based attacks?

As small and medium-sized organizations are the target of most attacks, they must take organizational measures to reduce the likelihood that they will fall victim to business compromise email attacks.

Owners of small and medium-sized businesses should raise awareness about these threats and impose least-privilege restrictions on users. Also, educating staff on sophisticated phishing schemes that use ChatGPT is vital. Employees can learn that there are a few indicators that a human did not create text. 

These include:

  • Sloppy grammar
  • The repetition of specific phrases 
  • Wordy sentences
  • The absence of idioms 
  • The use of several words that seem repetitive 

Using AI-based cybersecurity that specialists guide to spotting small anomalies and vulnerabilities that are typical of ChatGPT-based attacks is crucial to combating the threats.

Conclusions

The world has entered a new digital age thanks to ChatGPT, which has unlocked productivity and efficiency and opened up new possibilities. Although it has made many people’s jobs much easier, it has also helped attackers develop more sophisticated techniques. These new techniques have challenged even the most sophisticated cybersecurity measures. 

Since many of these businesses are unaware of the potential cybersecurity threat that ChatGPT brings and the attacks that are coordinated using it, it has emerged as one of the most pressing risks for small and medium-sized businesses. As a result, it has become crucial for them to implement cybersecurity, like that offered by VelocityIT, driven by AI and human expertise.