ChatGPT already feared to be behind multiple cyberattacks

Artificial intelligence India
(Image credit: Google)

IT leaders are fearful that ChatGPT, the instantly famous AI-powered chatbot, is already being used by state-sponsored threat actors when crafting cyberattacks. 

A report from BlackBerry, which polled 500 IT decision-makers in the UK on their views of the revolutionary tech, found over three-quarters (76%) believe foreign states are already using ChatGPT in their cyber-warfare campaigns against other nations. Almost half (48%) believe 2023 is the year when we’ll be able to credit the technology with a successful cyberattack.

While this might sound like a standard case of rage against the machine, it’s far from it. Most respondents (60%) still see the tech as being put to use for “good” purposes, but at the same time 72% worry about potential misuse.

Improved phishing emails

They’re mostly fearful of cybercriminals using the AI-powered chatbot to craft believable phishing emails (57%), improve the sophistication of their attacks (51%) and accelerate new social engineering attacks (49%). Another 49% believe ChatGPT could be leveraged to spread misinformation, while 47% see it as a good tool for hackers to gain new skills and improve. 

But if AI can be used in offense, it can be used in defense, too. That’s why almost four in five (78%) of the respondents plan on investing in AI-powered cybersecurity in the next two years, with 44% planning on doing so this year. Almost all (88%) expect the government to step in and regulate the use of the tech, too. 

“It’s been well documented that people with malicious intent are testing the waters but, over the course of this year, we expect to see hackers get a much better handle on how to use ChatGPT successfully for nefarious purposes; whether as a tool to write better mutable malware or as an enabler to bolster their ‘skillset’,” commented Shishir Singh, Chief Technology Officer, Cybersecurity at BlackBerry. 

“Both cyber pros and hackers will continue to look into how they can utilize it best. Time will tell who’s more effective.” 

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.