The European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol, has issued a warning about the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) systems, such as OpenAI’s popular chatbot ChatGPT, to be exploited by cybercriminals.
The agency has identified three areas of concern: fraud and social engineering, disinformation, and cybercrime.
ChatGPT’s ability to generate highly realistic text makes it an effective tool for phishing, as it can be used to impersonate the speech patterns of specific individuals or groups to mislead victims.
The AI system’s capacity to produce authentic-sounding text at speed and scale also makes it ideal for propaganda and disinformation purposes. Additionally, ChatGPT is capable of producing code in multiple programming languages, which can be used to develop malicious code.
Europol warns that technologies like ChatGPT can accelerate each phase of an attack chain and that the chatbot can be used to learn about a vast number of potential crime areas with no prior knowledge, from how to break into a home to terrorism, cybercrime, and child sexual abuse.
The agency also highlights the expected improvements of generative models like ChatGPT. The latest release, GPT-4, has already made significant improvements over its previous versions, which can provide more effective assistance for cybercriminal activities.
Europol stresses the importance of preparing law enforcement for both the positive and negative applications of AI-based systems that may affect their daily business.
In conclusion, Europol’s warning highlights the potential for cybercriminals to exploit AI systems like ChatGPT for various criminal activities.
As AI systems like ChatGPT continue to improve, the potential exploitation of these systems by criminals is expected to increase, providing a grim outlook. The agency urges law enforcement to be aware of the potential negative impact of AI-based applications and to prepare for their use in criminal activities.