Cybersecurity researchers have expressed worries that cybercriminals could use ChatGPT to launch a variety of attacks, such as malware development and convincing social engineering scams.
Recorded Future have identified examples of threat actors using ChatGPT to create basic hacking tools as well as more sophisticated cyberattacks on endpoint security.
Malware development has long been an integral part of cybercrime activity. From white-collar workers writing their own software to hackers creating ransomware, malware is one of the most prevalent forms of malicious activity.
But now, OpenAI’s ChatGPT poses a new threat that could prove transformative for hackers and cybersecurity pros alike. According to Check Point Research, cybercriminals from around the world are using underground discussion forums to devise ways of circumventing ChatGPT’s restrictions and limitations – as well as crafting basic hacking tools.
Security professionals worry that threat actors could use ChatGPT to craft convincing malware and phishing scams, spread misinformation online more efficiently, and even reverse engineer code and identify zero-day vulnerabilities which could be exploited for attacks.
Another issue with ChatGPT is its vulnerability to polymorphism – a coding technique that makes it harder for antivirus and anti-malware systems to identify and neutralize threats. Its ability to morph its code continuously allows it to adapt to new contexts and conditions, which could be advantageous to malicious hackers looking to bypass traditional anti-virus measures.
However, security experts must rely on manual inspection of the bot’s output for assurance. They’ll need to check for any suspicious changes that could be impacting its performance. That’s why it is recommended to use threat hunting platform. Have a look at the list of 3 best open source threat hunting platform.
The good news is that cybersecurity vendors are starting to recognize the value of ChatGPT, and IT leaders should stay alert for potential weaponization by threat actors. This poses a grave concern and should be addressed right away.
Social engineering is an umbrella term for various techniques hackers employ to manipulate targets into divulging confidential information or performing certain tasks. This can be accomplished via email, text messaging, social media platforms and more.
Social engineering is often employed to gain access to a company’s network and systems. It may also be utilized to steal sensitive data as well as financial information from organizations.
Phishing scams are the most widespread type of social engineering. These can include emails, texts and websites that appear legitimate but actually serve to deceive you into sending money or sharing sensitive information.
Spam filters can help thwart these attacks, but they won’t stop spear phishing attempts which are more specific and harder to detect. That is why it is crucial for businesses to educate their employees on social engineering as well as other online risks.
Another way to protect your organization from social engineering is by implementing strong security practices, such as restricting employee access to only necessary data and using dual-factor authentication with strong passwords. Furthermore, implement a privileged employee program where only trusted personnel have access to highly sensitive information.
Security experts are worried that ChatGPT could be exploited to generate malicious content. For instance, it could quickly fabricate fake news stories or imitate the voice of a celebrity to spread misinformation. Furthermore, ChatGPT could create files that bypass anti-virus software and network security measures.
Phishing, the practice of sending unsolicited emails that attempt to trick recipients into providing sensitive information or paying money, is one of the most frequent cyberattacks. It provides hackers with a convenient way to steal personal data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and tax details.
Cybersecurity experts suggest using anti-phishing tools to guard against fraudulent scams. However, if you do become the victim of a phishing campaign, it is critical that you immediately uninstall any unauthorized software and change your passwords.
A cybersecurity vendor recently identified cybercriminals using ChatGPT to distribute malicious apps on Google Play and third-party Android app stores. These fake applications use phishing techniques to collect user information and install malicious software onto users’ devices.
Malware can collect sensitive data such as call logs, contacts, SMSes, media files, and more on an infected device. Furthermore, it may install adware and spyware onto the affected device for extra profit.
ChatGPT can also be employed to craft polymorphic malware that is difficult to detect by traditional security measures, which poses a particular threat for organizations that use firewalls or antivirus programs as protection from malicious programs.
ChatGPT is an encouraging tool, but it is still in its early stages and lacks the capabilities necessary for writing complex software code. This could make it a poor choice for cybercriminals looking to launch ransomware attacks or other sophisticated financial-motivated cyberattacks.
Botnets are vast networks of compromised computers, devices, and Internet of things (IoT) devices controlled remotely by malicious actors. These zombie computers constantly scan large networks for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by threat actors to distribute malware across the network.
These bots can be employed for a range of cyberattacks, such as email spam and Denial of Service attacks that use the massive scale of a botnet to overwhelm a target server or website with requests so it cannot be accessed. This has the potential to do serious harm to organizations and results in financial losses.
Furthermore, zombie computers can monitor and collect sensitive information from infected websites and servers that fraudsters could exploit. This data could include usernames and passwords, session cookies, IP addresses, and even user data.
Bots can be used to steal users’ personal data or redirect them to malicious websites in an effort to defraud them of money. Furthermore, bots have the potential to attack businesses by altering analytics data, derail advertising campaigns and take down websites used for e-commerce transactions – potentially leading to substantial financial losses.
Another bot-related threat is bot-herders, who operate the botnet from a single command and control (C&C) server. These individuals typically possess extensive knowledge about current malware trends and can quickly spread it to new devices.
Organizations often struggle to protect their networks against bot herders, who can easily take over devices and control them remotely. Therefore, security departments need strong policies and processes in place. Furthermore, they should monitor for suspicious activity on their networks and be sure to take action if anything seems out of the ordinary.
Denial of Service
A denial of service (DoS) attack is a cyberattack that prevents legitimate users from accessing information or services. It can last anywhere from hours to months and cause the company’s resources and services to become unavailable.
As ChatGPT continues to grow in popularity, it is essential for individuals and organizations to be aware of potential threats and take necessary precautions. This includes educating users on how to detect and avoid attacks, implementing adequate security measures and protocols, as well as continuously improving and updating countermeasure technology.
Check Point has recently raised the alarm over reports that cybercriminals are using ChatGPT to craft malicious code. According to their research, at least three instances have been observed where hackers used ChatGPT to craft code that could steal files of interest, compress them, and send them across the internet without user interaction.
Cybercriminals could use this information to target a wider audience and craft more efficient phishing campaigns. Furthermore, it has the potential to speed up malware development, making it more lucrative for hackers.
DOS attacks could result in extremely high server resource utilization and the real users might not be able to use any services for that particular instances. That’s why installing network firewalls is much important for a cybersecurity professionals.
Criminals have also been using the bot to spread malicious software designed to steal credit card numbers or confidential data. Furthermore, it can be employed to spoof legitimate companies and organizations by creating false emails or messages claiming to come from them.
ChatGPT is an exciting new technology that promises quick and accurate information to users or automates customer service tasks for businesses. However, it’s essential to remember that new technologies come with inherent risks and are vulnerable to cybercriminal misuse; thus, staying vigilant and protecting against potential attacks is paramount.