OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT, has acknowledged that the intermittent outages experienced by its flagship generative AI offering were caused by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. According to OpenAI’s status page, ChatGPT and its API have been experiencing periodic outages since midday PST on November 8. The most recent update from OpenAI mentioned that they are working to mitigate “periodic outages due to an abnormal traffic pattern reflective of a DDoS attack.” Users affected by the outages have taken to social media to complain, with one individual confirming a “429 – Too Many Requests” error, which aligns with OpenAI’s diagnosis of DDoS as the source of the problem.
A hacktivist group called Anonymous Sudan has claimed responsibility for the attacks, citing OpenAI’s support for Israel as the reason behind the targeting. The group claimed that ChatGPT is being used by Israel to oppress Palestinians and criticized AI’s use in the development of weapons and by intelligence agencies. However, experts have suggested that Anonymous Sudan is actually a Russian state-backed group with a mission to amplify anti-Western sentiment.
ESET global cybersecurity advisor, Jake Moore, emphasized the need for DDoS mitigation providers to constantly adapt their services in the face of evolving threats. He also mentioned that OpenAI, as a prominent technology company, is a typical target for hackers and must expect the unexpected in order to future-proof its network against such attacks.