DDOS Attack Compromises ChatGPT

January 26, 2024

Introduction

Have you hopped full-force onto the bandwagon of artificial intelligence?

AI is smart; it has advanced far beyond the chatbots of the 2000s and can now generate new recipes, write songs, and give you background information about any subject in the world. Although even AI engines will tell you that they can be biased and incorrect (because after all, they’re made and modeled after human beings!) they are a useful tool that has swept across the globe at an unprecedented rate in the past year alone.

Take ChatGPT for example. They’re a perfect example of how AI is both faulty and useful, all at once.

Behind ChatGPT

Over 100M people use ChatGPT, so whatever your opinion on the artificial intelligence boon, there’s no doubt that people really like using AI. The website had 1.5B visits in September 2023 alone. Although it’s not foolproof by any means, artificial intelligence can be a very useful tool when paired with background research and quality control—both of which require a uniquely human touch.

Unfortunately, you can do everything right…and still end up affected by a cyberattack on ChatGPT!

On November 8, 2023, OpenAI confirmed that it was “dealing with periodic outages due to an abnormal traffic pattern reflective of a DDoS attack” on its ChatGPT services. The attack caused ChatGPT and its application programming interface (APIs) to go down for about 90 minutes.

Distributed Denial-of-Service Shuts Down ChatGPT

According to OpenAI, the attack was “large scale” and “sophisticated.” The company did not say who it believed was behind the attack, but it did say that it was “investigating the incident.”

The attack on ChatGPT is just the latest in a string of DDoS attacks that have targeted high-profile websites and services in recent months. In October, for example, GitHub was hit by a DDoS attack that took its website down for several hours. And in September, Cloudflare was hit by a DDoS attack that was so large that it was described as the largest in history.

DDoS attacks are a serious threat to the security of online services. They can disrupt operations, cause financial losses, and damage reputations. Businesses and organizations that rely on online services need to take steps to protect themselves from DDoS attacks.

What Are DDOS Attacks and Why Do They Matter?

DDoS attacks can make it difficult or impossible for end users to access online services that they rely on. Is there a favorite online retailer that you like to check everyday? Do you search for coupons at your local grocery service? Check your social media on a regular basis? Need to withdraw from your bank accounts remotely?

Not during a distributed-denial-of-service attack!

DDoS attacks slow down or disrupt internet traffic, making it difficult for end users (like you, reading this!) to browse the web, stream videos or play online games. Hackers flood the server with traffic, often by hacking and honing devices like your computers or Internet of Things devices,

They can also hurt your organization if a DDOS attack targets where you work. Especially with so much communication and transactions taking place online, the website going down can disrupt operations and lose all that potential business.

Protect yourself from DDoS attacks!

  • Keep your software up to date, including the operating system, web browser and security software. Automate these processes if possible.
  • Be careful about what links you click and what attachments they open, as this is a very common way for hackers to install malware on your device.
  • Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication on all your online accounts to make it more difficult for attackers to compromise their accounts.
  • Use a firewall to block malicious traffic and antivirus software that scans every download to check for malice.
  • Include DDOS attack response in your overall incident response plan, and make sure to include plans for keeping customers and partners informed.

Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), like the ones we offer, monitor for and block DDoS attacks.

References

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