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Data Security and Privacy

Is Chat GPT a Cybersecurity Threat? Experts Weigh In.

By January 18, 2023March 30th, 2024No Comments

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI, it is capable of performing a wide range of natural language processing tasks. It has quickly gained popularity since its debut in November, with over 1 million users using it for various purposes such as writing speeches, lyrics, essays and even computer code. Its capabilities have raised concerns in various industries with some fearing that it could be used to cheat and some copywriters being replaced. Google has also reportedly taken notice of ChatGPT’s abilities and has issued a “code red” to ensure the survival of its search business.

The cybersecurity industry is taking notice amid concerns that ChatGPT could be abused by hackers with limited resources and zero technical knowledge.

ChatGPT has the potential to be used for malicious purposes, such as creating phishing emails with a malicious payload when used in conjunction with OpenAI’s code-writing system Codex. Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point demonstrated this possibility shortly after ChatGPT’s debut. The threat intelligence group manager at Check Point, Sergey Shykevich, believes that ChatGPT has the potential to significantly alter the cyber threat landscape, as it represents another step forward in the evolution of sophisticated and effective cyber capabilities.

chat gpt ai

Dr. Suleyman Ozarslan, a security researcher and co-founder of Picus Security, recently demonstrated how ChatGPT can be used for malicious purposes, such as writing a World Cup-themed phishing lure and macOS-targeting ransomware code. He used the chatbot to write code for Swift, a programming language used for developing apps for Apple devices, which could find Microsoft Office documents on a MacBook, send them over an encrypted connection to a web server, and then encrypt the Office documents on the MacBook. This demonstrates that ChatGPT, like any other technology, can be used for both beneficial and malicious purposes. It’s important to be aware of the potential risks and use the technology responsibly and ethically.

“I have no doubts that ChatGPT and other tools like this will democratize cybercrime,” said Ozarslan. “It’s bad enough that ransomware code is already available for people to buy ‘off-the-shelf’ on the dark web; now virtually anyone can create it themselves.”

It is true that it’s difficult to predict exactly how ChatGPT or any other technology will be used in the future.  The impact of ChatGPT on cybersecurity, as well as any other technology, will depend on how it is used and the intentions of those who use it. It’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take appropriate steps to mitigate them, such as using the technology responsibly and ethically, reporting any illegal or malicious activities, and staying informed about the latest developments in technology and cybersecurity.

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