ChatGPT and its Use in Cybersecurity

ChatGPT is a powerful language generation model that has the potential to revolutionize the cybersecurity industry. Developed by OpenAI, #ChatGPT uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like text, making it an ideal tool for various applications, including cybersecurity.

Short History

ChatGPT is a pre-trained language model developed by OpenAI. It is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, first introduced in 2018. The original GPT model was trained on a massive dataset of internet text and could generate human-like text. In 2019, OpenAI released a new version of the model called GPT-2, which was even more powerful and able to generate more coherent and fluent text. After that, in 2020, OpenAI announced ChatGPT as a conversational version of GPT-2. It was trained on a dataset of conversational text and is optimized for tasks such as question answering and dialogue generation. When OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public in November 2022, it used GPT-3.

What makes it of use in the cybersecurity industry

One of the key advantages of ChatGPT is its ability to understand and respond to natural language input. This allows it to interact with users similarly to humans, making it a valuable tool for phishing detection, incident response, and threat intelligence tasks.

Some Examples

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are a major concern in the cybersecurity industry, as they can be used to steal sensitive information and gain access to sensitive systems. ChatGPT can detect phishing attacks by analyzing the language used in emails, social media, and other communications. ChatGPT can flag suspicious messages and alert security teams to potential phishing attempts by identifying patterns and anomalies in the language. It can also be used to detect spear-phishing attacks, which are targeted at specific individuals or organizations. ChatGPT can analyze the language and structure of emails and flag emails crafted to look like they are from a trusted source. ChatGPT can also scan social media and other platforms for phishing scams by analyzing the text and links in posts, comments, and messages. It can also assist in identifying new phishing techniques and tactics as it can detect new patterns in the language used in phishing emails.

Additionally, ChatGPT can generate realistic simulated phishing emails and other types of malicious content. This can be used to train employees and other users to recognize and respond to phishing attempts. By providing realistic training scenarios, ChatGPT can help users become more aware of the threats they may face and how to respond to them. This can be an effective way to reduce the risk of successful phishing attacks and can be used to train employees to recognize and report suspicious emails. This can also test an organization’s readiness to handle phishing attacks and identify improvement areas.

Incident Response

Another area where ChatGPT can be applied in cybersecurity is incident response. When a security incident occurs, it’s critical to quickly and accurately assess the situation and take appropriate action. ChatGPT can automate parts of the incident response process, such as collecting information and identifying the scope of the incident. This can greatly speed up the incident response process and reduce the risk of data loss or other damage. ChatGPT can analyze logs, system configurations, and other data to identify compromise indicators and determine the attack’s extent. It can also be used more efficiently and accurately to generate incident reports, forensic reports, and other incident response-related documents. This can help incident response teams better to understand the scope and severity of the incident and to respond more quickly and effectively. Additionally, ChatGPT can analyze data from multiple sources, such as network traffic logs, endpoint data, and security alerts, to provide a more comprehensive view of the incident. This can help incident response teams identify the incident's root cause and take appropriate action to contain and mitigate the impact.

Cyber Threat Intelligence

Another important area where ChatGPT can be applied in cybersecurity is in the field of cyber threat intelligence. ChatGPT can analyze large volumes of data from various sources, such as social media, the dark web, and other sources. This can be used to identify patterns and anomalies that can be used to generate early warning of new threats and to understand better the tactics, techniques, and procedures of cyber attackers. This can be used to identify new threats, generate threat intelligence reports, and develop strategies to protect against them. With the ability to understand natural language, ChatGPT can extract relevant information from unstructured data, such as reports and articles, and classify and categorize them. This can help security teams to stay informed about the latest threats and trends and to develop more effective security strategies.

ChatGPT can also help with OSINT tasks

An example:

Ethical Hacking / Penetration Testing

ChatGPT can assist ethical hackers and penetration testers in several ways:

  • Language Generation: Ethical hackers can use ChatGPT to generate realistic and convincing phishing emails, text messages, or social media posts as a part of a phishing simulation.
  • Command and Control: ChatGPT can generate payloads and command and control (C2) infrastructure for red teaming exercises.
  • Vulnerability Analysis: ChatGPT can generate reports and documentation for vulnerability analysis and penetration testing.
  • Social Engineering: ChatGPT can help generate scripts and dialogue for social engineering attacks, such as phone phishing or fishing.
  • Post-Exploitation: ChatGPT can help to generate customized payloads, scripts, and commands for post-exploitation activities.

It’s important to note that ethical hackers and penetration testers should always comply with the law and carry out testing only with the explicit consent of the target organization.

Some examples:

Eternal Blue
SQL Injection

Final thoughts

ChatGPT is a powerful language generation model that can be used in various cybersecurity applications. Its ability to understand and respond to natural language input makes it valuable for phishing detection, incident response, employee training, threat intelligence, and report generation. As more organizations adopt ChatGPT and other language generation models, we expect to see a significant improvement in our digital systems and data security. With its ability to process large volumes of data, understand natural language, and generate human-like text, ChatGPT can help security teams to detect threats, respond to incidents, and improve their overall security posture. ChatGPT can also automate many manual processes in cybersecurity, such as report generation, incident response, and threat intelligence, which can save time and resources for organizations. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, using advanced technologies such as ChatGPT will become increasingly important in the fight against cyber threats. With the ability to analyze and process large volumes of data, understand natural language, and generate human-like text, ChatGPT can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cybersecurity operations and stay one step ahead of cyber attackers.




Sigmund Brandstaetter, CISSP, CCSP, CISM, C|CISO

With a total of over 25 years in the IT Industry, I have focused on Cybersecurity (Services) and related skills over the past 12 years,