In this period of intense armed conflicts, a quieter war, that of cyberattacks, is also taking place. The latest action is spectacular, as it affected the functioning of ChatGPT throughout the day yesterday. Known since January 2023, a group named Anonymous Sudan launched Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against OpenAI servers from an extensive botnet network. This group, motivated by Islamic religious convictions, originates from Sudan and conducts targeted actions against countries opposing Russia. Despite malfunctions throughout November 8, OpenAI managed to contain this attack.
Russian intelligence services (GRU) orchestrated an attack against Ukrainian electrical facilities by the hacking group Sandworm on the Ukrainian front. Their malware, embedded in the systems, allowed them to trigger the electricity company’s circuit breakers. This caused a power outage coinciding with massive missile strikes on critical infrastructure in Ukraine.
ChatGPT DDoS Timeline
After users started complaining of ChatGPT being down, an OpenAI incident report was posted at 12:03 PST on November 8, which said the issue was being investigated.
Within 40 minutes, an additional posting to that incident report said that a fix had been implemented and that OpenAI was monitoring the results.
Unfortunately, the results weren’t that positive, as a further update with a 17:23 PST timestamp noted that “periodic outages” were still being experienced.
At 19:49 PST, OpenAI confirmed, “We are dealing with periodic outages due to an abnormal traffic pattern reflective of a DDoS attack. We are continuing work to mitigate this.”