Undoubtedly, the evolution of Generative AI (GenAI) models has been the highlight of digital transformation in the year 2022. As the different GenAI models like ChatGPT and Google Bard continue to foster their complexity and capability, it’s critical to understand its consequences from a cybersecurity perspective. Several instances recently have demonstrated the use of GenAI tools in both the defensive and offensive side of cybersecurity, and focusing on the social, ethical and privacy implications this technology possesses. This research paper highlights the limitations, challenges, potential risks, and opportunities of GenAI in the domain of cybersecurity and privacy. The work presents the vulnerabilities of ChatGPT, which can be exploited by malicious users to exfiltrate malicious information bypassing the ethical constraints on the model. This paper demonstrates successful example attacks like Jailbreaks, reverse psychology, and prompt injection attacks on the ChatGPT. The paper also investigates how cyber offenders can use the GenAI tools in developing cyber attacks, and explore the scenarios where ChatGPT can be used by adversaries to create social engineering attacks, phishing attacks, automated hacking, attack payload generation, malware creation, and polymorphic malware. This paper then examines defense techniques and uses GenAI tools to improve security measures, including cyber defense automation, reporting, threat intelligence, secure code generation and detection, attack identification, developing ethical guidelines, incidence response plans, and malware detection. We will also discuss the social, legal, and ethical implications of ChatGPT. In conclusion, the paper highlights open challenges and future directions to make this GenAI secure, safe, trustworthy, and ethical as the community understands its cybersecurity impacts.
The evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has led the digital transformation in the last decade. AI and ML have achieved significant breakthroughs starting from supervised learning and rapidly advancing with the development of unsupervised, semi-supervised, reinforcement, and deep learning. The latest frontier of AI technology has arrived as Generative AI . Generative AI models are developed using deep neural networks to learn the pattern and structure of big training corpus to generate similar new content . Generative AI (GenAI) technology can generate different forms of content like text, images, sound, animation, source code, and other forms of data. The launch of ChatGPT  (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), a powerful new generative AI tool by OpenAI in November 2022, has disrupted the entire community of AI/ML technology . ChatGPT has demonstrated the power of generative AI to reach the general public, revolutionizing how people perceive AI/ML. At this time, the tech industry is in a race to develop the most sophisticated Large Language Models (LLMs) that can create a human-like conversation, the result of which is Microsoft’s GPT model , Google’s Bard , and Meta’s LLaMa . GenAI has become a common tool on the internet within the past year. With ChatGPT reaching 100 million users within two months of release, suggesting that people who have access to the internet have either used GenAI or know someone who has . Figure 1 demonstrates the working of an AI-powered chatbot where a user initiates requests, and after analysis using Natural Language Processing (NLP), is given a real-time response by the chatbot. This response is analyzed again to provide a better user experience in the proceeding conversation.
GenAI driven ChatGPT and other LLM tools have made significant impact on the society. We, as humans, have embraced it openly and are using them in different ingenious ways to craft images, write text or create music. Evidently, it is nearly impossible to find a domain where this technology has not infringed and developed use-cases. Needless to mention, cybersecurity is no different, where GenAI has made significant impacts how cybersecurity posture of an organization will evolve with the power and threat ChatGPT (and other LLM tools) offers. This paper attempts to systematically research and present the challenges, limitations and opportunities GenAI offers in cybersecurity space. Using ChatGPT as our primary tool, we first demonstrate how it can be attacked to bypass its ethical and privacy safeguards using reverse psychology and jailbreak techniques. This paper then reflects different cyber attacks that can be created and unleashed using ChatGPT, demonstrating GenAI use in cyber offense. Thereafter, this article also experiment various cyber defense mechanisims supported by ChatGPT, followed by discussion on social, legal and ethical concerns of GenAI. We also highlight the key distinguishing features of two dominant LLM tools ChatGPT and Googe Bard demonstrating their capabilities in terms of cybersecurity. Finally, the paper illustrates several open challenges and research problems pertinent to cybersecurity and performance of GenAI tools. We envision this work will simulate more research and develop novel ways to unleash the potential of GenAI in cybersecurity.