The rise of ChatGPT, a free chatbot powered by artificial intelligence, has captured the attention of many. Developed by OpenAI, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing friendly AI, this sophisticated machine learning model promises to provide answers to any query. However, as the popularity of ChatGPT grows, so do the risks associated with it.
Cybercriminals have seized the opportunity, creating almost identical copies of the official site or app to distribute malicious content. Moreover, the real danger lies in the potential for spear phishing attacks facilitated by the chatbot. These customized and hyper-targeted cyberattacks leverage the vast amount of personal information unwittingly shared by users on social media and during their daily online activities.
The Growing Threat: Spear Phishing Attacks
In the hands of an attacker, ChatGPT becomes a powerful tool for spear phishing attacks. These attacks are carefully tailored to exploit the information individuals unknowingly reveal through their social media profiles and browsing habits. Cybercriminals employ AI to construct deceptive content specifically designed to deceive their intended victims. To combat this alarming trend, Ermes – Cybersecurity, an Italian cybersecurity firm, has developed an effective AI system. Recognizing the increasing reliance on third-party AI-based services, Ermes aims to provide a secure solution that filters and blocks the sharing of sensitive information such as emails, passwords, and financial data.
The Three Risk Factors: OpenAI ChatGPT and Scams
- The Birth of Phishing Sites : The surging popularity of OpenAI ChatGPT has given rise to numerous phishing sites. These fraudulent websites mimic the official platform, featuring similar domains and near-identical appearances. Often, they present non-existent integrations, duping unsuspecting users into registering and unwittingly providing their credentials.
- Amplified Spear Phishing Attacks : With the aid of ChatGPT’s fast and high-quality responses, cybercriminals can execute highly targeted email campaigns (BEC), SMS-based scams (smishing), or malicious advertisements. These attacks aim to defraud victims of their money, steal personal data, or gain access to valuable credentials.
- Sharing Sensitive Company Information : As companies increasingly rely on AI-powered services like ChatGPT, the continuous demand for content and analysis presents a risk of inadvertently sharing sensitive business information. Simple oversights, such as failing to exclude recipient or sender email addresses, or unknowingly disclosing economic data and customer or partner names, can expose organizations to potential breaches.
The Peril of Business Email Compromise (BEC) :
One particularly worrisome threat is the exploitation of ChatGPT for Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. Cybercriminals employ templates to craft deceptive emails, tricking recipients into divulging sensitive information. With ChatGPT’s assistance, hackers can generate unique content for each email, making these attacks harder to detect and differentiate from legitimate correspondence. By eliminating typographical errors and employing unique formats, cybercriminals can build phishing sites and craft emails with remarkable precision, heightening their chances of success. The flexibility of ChatGPT enables attackers to apply various modifications to their prompts, such as making emails urgent or designing messages more likely to elicit recipient clicks.
The proliferation of AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT has brought both benefits and risks. While these technologies offer unparalleled conversational capabilities, they have also become attractive targets for cybercriminals. Phishing sites, spear phishing attacks, and the inadvertent sharing of sensitive information pose significant threats to individuals and organizations alike. To mitigate these risks, it is essential to remain vigilant, implement robust security.