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Cyberattacks disrupt OpenAI's ChatGPT

Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility. Unrelated to Anonymous. (Source: MS Bing/DALL-E 3)
Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility. Unrelated to Anonymous. (Source: MS Bing/DALL-E 3)
The Popular ChatGPT service suffered widespread outages, possibly caused by a DDoS attack. Anonymous Sudan, a group linked to Russia, claimed responsibility.

ChatGPT's widely used large language model was impacted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on November 8 that lasted approximately 90 minutes.

In the two days before the incident, OpenAI had experienced intermittent outages of unknown origin. Initial reports attributed these disruptions to technical difficulties, but further investigation uncovered a more concerning cause: cyberattacks.

Following user complaints regarding ChatGPT's downtime, OpenAI posted an incident report on November 8, indicating that the issue was being investigated. Within 40 minutes, an update to the incident report stated that a fix had been implemented and that OpenAI was monitoring the situation. However, subsequent updates revealed that "periodic outages" were still occurring.

In the initial reports, OpenAI attributed the significant outages to a suspected DDoS attack affecting ChatGPT and the application programming interface. Hacktivist group Anonymous Sudan, however, claimed responsibility for the cyberattack, accusing ChatGPT of being biased and working with Israel. 

Anonymous Sudan has a track record of launching cyberattacks against notable organizations, including Microsoft, Xbox, NATO, the European Investment Bank, and various Israeli civilian and military institutions. The group asserts that it operates from Africa to support oppressed Muslims worldwide. However, some cybersecurity experts believe it has links to the Russian government.

Anonymous Sudan is likely a subgroup of the pro-Russian Killnet threat group. The group appears to be financially motivated and tends to target those opposed by Russia. It is important to note that the main Anonymous operations groups have denied any association with Anonymous Sudan.

There were also service disruptions at ChatGPT competitor Claude 2 on November 8. An error message displayed, stating, "Due to unexpected capacity constraints, Claude is unable to respond to your message."

The ChatGPT app can be used on the Apple Watch (Series 8 is available on Amazon) via watchOS.

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Robert Gelo, 2023-11-17 (Update: 2023-11-17)