How to Spot a ChatGPT Phishing Website

Scammers are leveraging the popularity of ChatGPT in phishing attacks. Here's a look at research on these newly registered domains and tactics.

Image of hands on a keyboard with ChatGPT superimposed on it
Source: Skorzewiak via Alamy

Hackers will always take advantage of the hot thing: COVID-19, crypto, tax season, or what have you. And with the rise of ChatGPT, they've not missed a beat.

Through the first four months of 2023, researchers from Check Point tracked 13,296 newly registered domains relating to Open AI and ChatGPT. According to new research from the company, one in 25 of those domains were malicious.

The fake sites tend to unsubtly project their relation to ChatGPT, with examples like:







Some of the fake sites take the obvious route, copying OpenAI's actual landing page as closely as possible:

Screenshot of fake OpenAI/ChatGPT home page.

Other lures take a different approach. Rather than impersonating OpenAI, they pretend to offer related services.

For example, the following landing page purports to offer software for detecting ChatGPT prose, something educators in particular have been calling out for in recent months:

Fake landing page for a service that purports to detect the use of ChatGPT.

Beyond the threat to individuals, "there are two main potential problems here for enterprises," notes Omer Dembinsky, data group manager at Check Point Software, and the lead researcher behind the report.

"One issue is that employees can download malicious files and applications from those websites, and thus provide cybercriminals with an initial foothold on their corporate network," he says. "The second issue is that the websites mimic ChatGPT so well that employees can potentially fall for their disguise and can submit queries with sensitive corporate information to those fake websites."

What to Do

To avoid falling for one of these traps, the researchers recommended attentiveness and basic cyber hygiene around phishing emails. Specifically:

  • Don't reply, click on links, nor open attachments in unverified emails

  • Report suspicious emails to your IT or security team

  • Delete suspicious emails

  • Be on the lookout for lookalike and fake domains

However, the researchers caution that "while awareness of common phishing tactics and knowledge of anti-phishing best practices is important, modern phishing attacks are sophisticated enough that some will always slip through."

And so, Dembinsky says, enterprises need to both educate their workforce and implement effective anti-phishing mitigations.

About the Author(s)

Nate Nelson, Contributing Writer

Nate Nelson is a freelance writer based in New York City. Formerly a reporter at Threatpost, he contributes to a number of cybersecurity blogs and podcasts. He writes "Malicious Life" -- an award-winning Top 20 tech podcast on Apple and Spotify -- and hosts every other episode, featuring interviews with leading voices in security. He also co-hosts "The Industrial Security Podcast," the most popular show in its field.

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