ChatGPT can help software supply-chain attackers

ChatGPT can help software supply-chain attackers

More security woes for LLMs.

By on

ChatGPT’s tendency to “hallucinate” could be trouble for software developers, since it can help attackers spread malicious packages into their development environments.

Ortal Keizman and Yair Divinsky of security company Vulcan warned of the risk after researching how ChatGPT might be made a vector for software supply-chain attacks.

“We’ve seen ChatGPT generate URLs, references, and even code libraries and functions that do not actually exist.

These LLM (large language model) hallucinations have been reported before and may be the result of old training data,” they wrote.

“If ChatGPT is fabricating code libraries (packages), attackers could use these hallucinations to spread malicious packages without using familiar techniques like typosquatting or masquerading.”

While these techniques are known and detectable, Vulcan said, if an attacker offers a package that replaces the hallucination, a victim could be tricked into downloading and using it.

Referring to their technique as “AI package hallucination”, the researchers said if an attacker asks the chatbot to find a package to solve a problem, some of its responses may be hallucinations, complete with false links.

“This is where things get dangerous: if ChatGPT recommends packages that are not published in a legitimate package repository", attackers could then post a malicious package using the hallucinated name.

“The next time a user asks a similar question they may receive a recommendation from ChatGPT to use the now-existing malicious package,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers tested their approach using popular questions on forums like StackOverflow, and asked ChatGPT questions about languages like Python and Node.js.

For Node.js, 201 questions obtained 40 answers referring to more than 50 non-existent packages, while 227 questions about Python drew answers referring to more than 100 non-existent packages.

To reach the editorial team on your feedback, story ideas and pitches, contact them here.
Copyright © . All rights reserved.

Most Read Articles