Cybercriminals Can Use Traditional Malware in ChatGPT to Hit Businesses

Cybercriminals Can Use Traditional Malware in ChatGPT to Hit Businesses

Cybercriminals can use ChatGPT malware to attack businesses in one go. They exploit platform vulnerabilities and attempt to mimic ChatGPT in many ways.

In the age of chatbots, ChatGPTs are popular for all automated content, detecting threats, cracking passwords, and code generation. Since its release, cyber security professionals have found many opportunities with its features.

However, the platform also makes cyber criminals use it to attack business core parts. Criminals have increased traditional malware in ChatGPT to target their attacks. According to Palo Alto Networks, report 2023 Unit 42 Network Threat Trends Research Report, ChatGPT, and other generative AI platforms are increasingly supporting traditional malware methods.

The ratio of malware openly targeting the operational technology (OT) industry has increased by 27.5%. However, 48.94% of network communication generated during sandbox analysis (with malicious and benign files) uses an encrypted Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for its traffic. So, SSL traffic reports 12.91% of malware.

The traditional malware attempts to mimic the ChatGPT interface by squatting domains. These domains use website names similar to the original name to mislead employees. Squatting domains can raise high-security risks by allowing malicious actors to profit through scam attacks.

The good thing is that organizations can prepare for attacks by employing robust cybersecurity best practices. Security leaders must have security controls that protect against traditional attacks. Doing it will be an essential first line of defense against any developing AI-related attacks in the future.

How Cybercriminals Do It?

Cybercriminals exploit ChatGPT for malicious content generation. They do it despite anti-abuse restrictions that prevent illicit commands. They also usually bypass ChatGPT’s safeguards to generate malware. ChatGPT malware can improve malware codes.

However, there is less evidence supporting the facts of cybercriminals bypassing codes. Most employees and developers develop tools that hit ChatGPT’s interface, resulting in threat attacks.

Another fact is that chatbots lack coding complexity, so ChatGPT can help criminals enter the interface easily. It can be a helpful platform for creating simple malware to use traditional malware in ChatGPT for attacks.

Illegitimately Usage of ChatGPT

Threat actors have made illicit use of ChatGPT’s weakness in terms of its simple coding mechanism. This was when the platform’s defenses showed flaws after its excessive use. At that time, threat actors used OpenAI’s API to generate malware.

Threat actors can disclose underground forums—a script generated using ChatGPT. They can use Python tools to encrypt business files in the platform to make a malware model. That means ChatGPT can allow anyone (unskilled users) to create malware to cause significant damage. Also, threat actors can put or add traditional malware codes into the platform for attacks.

Cybercriminals can also exploit ChatGPT to recreate a Python-based info stealer code. Such codes can copy and extract PDF files, images, and office documents from a system. The possibility is that criminals can publish codes with third-party API and create criminal codes to enter the system.

PDFs Used as Attack Vectors

Cybercriminals use PDFs as their attack vector. Especially emails with PDFs attachment are popular attack vectors to spread malware through ChatGPT.

Email frequently carries PDFs as attachments. They are an effective delivery mechanism for malware, which goes unidentified by a user downloading them.

In the same Palo Alto Networks report, 66% of malware cases are identified through email PDFs attachments. PDFs are compatible with cross-platforms. That means users or employees can open and view in different browsers, devices, and operating systems.

Such versatility makes them a striking choice for threat actors. They can target a wide range of potential companies across various platforms and email platforms with the help of ChatGPT.

Cyber attackers also use PDFs to mislead employees through social engineering methods.

They often use inviting subject lines, appealing visuals, and content to compel users to open a PDF file. That becomes a big reason for companies under malware attacks. The final verdict is that businesses install ChatGPT platforms into their email platforms. And this becomes easy for attackers to use ChatGPT malware for attacks.

Bypassing ChatGPT Restrictions

Some security researchers have found that ChatGPT’s user interface restrictions are also weak. Threat actors can easily bypass this barrier to enter and use ChatGPT malware for attacks.

Cybercriminals can misuse the codes and programs by using and avoiding words or phrases that force users to bypass regulations. Even after adding regulatory language for context, it will be easy for attackers to enter the platform to attack.

However, the challenge with ChatGPT is that it is only a user interface model.

These models are available to developers to integrate back-end models with applications. But, users consume these models via APIs, which are not restricted. That means restrictions for the platform are mostly not in place for users to use it with different APIs. This is the vulnerable point for criminals to attack through malware.

Also Read: Preventing Cybercriminals from Using IoT Devices as a Gateway into the Enterprise Network

Besides, threat actors can also break restrictions by narrowing their attack points. They use the simplest codes that bypass restrictions under authorized users’ names.

Ultimately, this is not a new capability for attackers or is the only effective way to generate variants of ChatGPT malware. Many tools do it better. But it might allow attackers to generate destructive malware codes without much complexity. They may also use traditional malware in ChatGPT to conduct all attacks.

This summarizes that companies must be cautious about installing and using ChatGPT to enhance new AI services. However, attackers are indeed using traditional malware in ChatGPT for attacks and using ChatGPT malware to do so. In such cases, security teams must adhere to best practices and use effective tools to combat threats.

Because ChatGPT is not very high on skill, it will be harmful only if unskilled developers handle it and untrained users use it. These ways can stop hackers from making unnecessary adjustments and additions to the code, which could result in malicious acts.

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