OpenAI’s ChatGPT, along with its API, has been subjected to multiple outages over the last two days due to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. OpenAI has confirmed these disruptions, stating that the attacks began yesterday and have continued into the present, causing significant service interruptions.
The initial signs of trouble were met with a swift response from OpenAI, as they reported via a status update that they were investigating the issue. Approximately 40 minutes later, the company announced the implementation of several remedial measures. However, these solutions proved to be short-lived as the service faced subsequent downtimes. In a follow-up status update, OpenAI acknowledged the DDoS attacks, which resulted in an unusually high volume of traffic, and assured users that efforts to mitigate the issues were ongoing.
Users experienced these outages firsthand, encountering error messages when sending requests to ChatGPT, as reported by Bleeping Computer. These messages indicated a failure in the system, disrupting the usual seamless interaction with the AI chatbot.
While OpenAI has not publicly identified the attackers, a statement on the Telegram channel of Anonymous Sudan has claimed responsibility for the cyberattacks. The group has articulated their motivations, citing OpenAI’s collaboration with Israel as a primary factor. They have expressed discontent with the CEO of OpenAI for engaging with Israeli government representatives and signaling intentions to increase investments in Israel.
Anonymous Sudan has also raised concerns about the use of AI in weapon development, accusing Israel of using such technologies to oppress Palestinians. The group’s antipathy towards American companies has made OpenAI a target, as they claim to have a general vendetta against American corporate interests. They further allege that ChatGPT displays bias in its responses, showing a positive stance towards Israel and a negative one towards Palestine.
Founded in January 2023, Anonymous Sudan, also known by the alias Storm-1359, has a history of launching cyberattacks against entities they perceive as adversaries to Sudan. Their past targets have included prominent corporations like Microsoft, leading to disruptions in services such as Teams, Outlook, and OneDrive. They have even extended their cyber activities to Telegram, their own communication medium, in an act of retribution for the platform’s suspension of their main channel.
This series of attacks against OpenAI’s ChatGPT raises significant concerns about the security of AI platforms and the potential for their exploitation in geopolitical conflicts.