In the 19th century, Alan Turing suggested that a machine could alter its own instructions and learn from experience. Turing is regarded as the father of Artificial Intelligence. He paved the way for remarkable advances in AI well into the 21st Century.
AI technology is embedded in our daily lives today through everything we do, from Siri to facial recognition software that unlocks your phone to AI technology for Siri. We haven’t slowed down in our pursuit of making life easier and creating a better future. These innovations come with their own risks. AI chatbots are the latest interactive breakthrough, most notably in the ChatGPT model.
ChatGPT and AI Chatbots
What is a Chatbot? A Chatbot is simply a program that mimics human conversation and assists customers in communicating with them. This software mimics human conversation using voice commands and text box services, augmenting or replacing human agents.
OpenAI is a world-leading research laboratory located in San Francesco. In November 2022, the company released ChatGPT, which was developed in 2015 by Sam Altman (Elon Musk) and released in the United States. ChatGPT was designed to communicate conversationally. It can answer follow-up questions and admit to making mistakes, challenge an incorrect premise, and reject inappropriate requests.
With more than one million users, ChatGPT is a popular chatbot that mimics human conversation. It also provides many services in different fields — from writing essays and music composition to answering questions and creating computer code,
ChatGPT’s distinguishing feature is its ability to provide more than just search results. It uses machine learning capabilities to help explain complicated topics and offer practical solutions. There is room for error here, as the ChatGPT website states that ChatGPT can sometimes write “plausible-sounding, but incorrect or nonsensical” answers.
However, this has not stopped most companies from tightening their belts. The New York Times reported that ChatGPT’s capabilities alarm Google so much that the company issued a “Code Red” to ensure the search business’ survival.
Also read: Top 10 Most Popular ChatGPT Tools
The Gaining Popularity of Chatbots and ChatGPT
Although Artificial Intelligence has futuristic and dystopian implications, many major companies have already invested in Chatbot technology and you may be familiar with it. Siri, Alexa, and Google Home all have service chatbots. Many media houses, including Netflix, Hulu, and CNN, have successfully used Chatbot technology for customer engagement.
Medium reports that chatbots are being used by brands and businesses in many exciting ways. Chatbots can be used to place orders, receive recommendations, and schedule flights. The publication lists Lyft and Spotify as some of the major industry players that are using Chatbot technology for improved services.
Automated platforms took over service delivery after the Covid-19 pandemic. This was done to decrease human interaction. Technology seamlessly became part of our daily lives.
The Information reported that Microsoft is considering integrating OpenAI’s artificial Intelligence into its suite of apps, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. This will allow customers to generate text automatically using simple prompts. OpenAI was recently funded with $1 billion by the computing giant. This will help to build Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).
Google isn’t new to AI. It has its own language model, LaMDA. This uses machine-learning techniques and helps it understand search queries. It can then engage in free-flowing conversations about seemingly endless topics.
Jasper, through its AI Content Generator, is another company that has made use of AI technology. Unbounce, which provides AI-powered copywriting tools to create taglines, email copy, and product descriptions, is another company that has used AI technology.
These huge changes to the industry come with a host of risks.
The Cyber Security Risks Associated with ChatGPT
Although Chatbot technology is proving to be beneficial, some remain skeptical. CNET reports that ChatGPT was blocked by the New York City Department of Education due to concerns about cheating and the potential negative effects on student learning as well as the accuracy of the content.
ChatGPT has had to deal with misinformation. It relies on existing human data, which is often far less accurate than the truth.
The most important aspect to be aware of is the cybersecurity threat that ChatGPT’s advanced Chatbot has created. ChatGPT’s creator, ChatGPT, tweeted that we are very close to an AI that is dangerously powerful and could pose a significant cybersecurity risk. He also stated that it was important to take that risk seriously as AGI will become a reality in the next decade.
TechCrunch reported recently that Check Point performed a demonstration with the ChatGPT, in which it was asked to create a phishing mail. The OpenAI initially mentioned that the content might be in violation of its content policy. However, after further instruction, the ChatGPT program created a possible phishing email. Check Point raised concerns about the chatbot’s ability to assist cyber criminals in writing malicious code.
ChatGPT’s rich data and natural language capabilities make it a popular tool for cyber criminals new to the field, or too lazy to create malicious code/emails and still want to launch a cyber-attack.
Cybersecurity Risks for ChatGPT
Medium suggests that there are four categories to help classify security risks associated with ChatGPT.
- Phishing emails: This type of malware involves an attacker creating a fake, but convincing email to trick recipients into following dangerous instructions. This could include opening attachments, clicking on a link that is not secure, and transferring funds to specific accounts. Phishing scams are today’s most popular type of malware.
- Data theft: Any unauthorized access or exfiltration of confidential data on a network is considered data theft. These include passwords and personal information, as well as software codes, which could be used by ransomware attackers or for any other malicious purpose.
- Malware: A broad term that refers to all software that is designed to cause harm to the user, Malware or Malicious Software. It can be used to infiltrate private servers, steal information, or simply destroy data.
- Botnets: A botnet attack is a targeted cyber attack in which a group of devices connected to the internet is infiltrated and hijacked by a hacker. A robot network. A botnet attack is a deliberate attempt to take control of multiple computers and servers in order to carry out malicious activities.
These may seem scary, but there are steps you can take to lower the risk when using ChatGPT services.
How to Protect Against Phishing emails
ChatGPT is gaining popularity, so we have put together some tips to protect your network from any potential threat actors. Organizations must invest in cybersecurity to avoid business loss. Our recent blog, The Cost of Cybercrime and the Benefits of Cybersecurity.
- Keep informed. Although this may seem like an easy tool, your ability to recognize malware or cyber-attacks before they are allowed onto your network could be the difference between you and a threat actor. Protecting your information will be easier if you are cautious about suspicious links and emails.
- Use a Secure Password. This is a very important security tip that is often forgotten, but it is the best line of defense against data theft. Make sure your password is difficult to guess and complex.
- Enable Two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is a feature that most networks already have. It allows users to be identified by unique factors before they are granted access. This adds an additional layer of security to your network, helping to prevent any breaches.
- A Network Detection & Response Platform. An NDR platform offers extensive cybersecurity monitoring of your network to ensure no malicious threat actors have access. Cyber Command by Sangfor provides advanced threat-hunting capabilities to your company, no matter how big or small.
- Installing Antivirus Software. Good antivirus software will protect your network against malware, phishing attacks, and other cyber threats.
- Monitor your Accounts. Monitoring your accounts and your network can help you detect suspicious behavior quickly and take immediate action to minimize the possibility of further damage to your account or network.
- Keep your software up to date. To provide network protection, your operating system must be running at maximum performance all the time. To avoid security bugs and flaws that may have been present in older versions, ensure that you are always running the most recent updates. Read more about Cybersecurity Risks for Small Businesses here.
Future of AI Chatbots & Cybersecurity
Chatbots have been a success so far. However, it is important to monitor and be cautious about the potential for malicious software to be created by a chatbot. With every technological leap, we have created an all-too-human conundrum where the things that we create can alter the world but can also cause it to be destroyed.
ESET’s Jake Moore, who is ChatGPT’s cybersecurity expert, revealed to TechCrunch that ChatGPT has made positive strides in terms of security. He said that ChatGPT could soon be able “to analyze potential attacks on its own and make positive suggestions to improve security.”
ChatGPT’s uncapped accessibility and unlimited use made it very dangerous. However, Greg Brockman, president and cofounder of OpenAI, stated in a recent tweet that an upgraded professional version of ChatGPT is in development. This will allow for cybersecurity and other malicious input suggestions to be addressed.
The future of AI technology is, as with all things, difficult to predict. It is our hope that human engineering can create a better world without compromising safety.