ChatGPT malware use is growing at an alarming rate

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It’s been more than a year now since ChatGPT was first introduced to the public, and since then, the interest in the cybercrime community has only grown, a new Kaspersky report has claimed.

It found underground forums are brimming with discussion on ChatGPT and other Large Language Models (LLM), and how they could be used in cybercriminal campaigns. In fact, the researchers said they identified nearly 3,000 posts discussing the topic.

The peak chatter was in March 2023, which is no surprise given that the tool was released in November 2022 - however, ongoing discussions indicate a “sustained interest”, Kaspersky said.

Selling stolen accounts

Discussing the news with Infosecurity Magazine, Kaspersky’s Alisa Kulishenko said that in these forum topics, cybercriminals talk about all kinds of uses, from having the tool write malware code, to having it process stolen user data, parse files from infected devices, and more. Also, the criminals are discussing alternative AI projects, such as XXXGPT, or FraudGPT. They also talk about jailbreaking the tools - using specific prompts that help unlock additional functionalities. 

Finally, hackers are always looking to either sell, or buy, stolen ChatGPT accounts. The popular generative AI tool has a free and a commercial version, with the latter offering a lot more functionality. Kaspersky found another 3,000 posts advertising such accounts for sale. 

Ever since ChatGPT was first introduced, there were worries that criminals would abuse it. As with any other (novel) technology, hackers have found ways to implement it in their activities. 

For example, before ChatGPT, one of the easiest ways to spot a phishing email was to look for spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as inconsistencies in language, as many criminals weren’t paying that much attention to their English literacy. With ChatGPT, phishing emails became indistinguishable from legitimate messages in that respect.

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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.