OpenAI has recently been grappling with intermittent service disruptions over the past day, which have been attributed to DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks aimed at its API and ChatGPT services. The source of these disturbances wasn’t immediately disclosed, but the company later acknowledged the DDoS attacks as the cause.
The organization reported unusual traffic patterns indicative of the cyber attacks and is taking steps to address the fallout. Users encountering these disruptions have received error messages when attempting to use ChatGPT.
The service interruptions followed a significant outage of ChatGPT and OpenAI’s API earlier in the week, along with partial outages of ChatGPT on Tuesday and increased error rates with Dall-E on Monday.
During the latest outage, a notification alerting users to heightened demand was posted on the ChatGPT interface, advising patience as the company scaled up its systems.
A group identifying as Anonymous Sudan has claimed responsibility for the attacks, criticizing OpenAI’s perceived partiality towards Israel in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The group announced its actions on Telegram, boasting about the global impact and challenging OpenAI to acknowledge the DDoS nature of the problem.
Anonymous Sudan also stated they have employed the SkyNet botnet, known for “stresser” services and recently upgraded to perform sophisticated application layer attacks, which flood services with excessive requests, leading to system overloads.
In a separate incident in June, Anonymous Sudan claimed credit for successful attacks on Microsoft services using similar methods. The group, which announced its formation in January 2023, has expressed its intent to target entities it views as anti-Sudan, leading to disruptions in online services of various high-profile targets. Nonetheless, some experts suggest that the group’s activities may be a smokescreen for Russian cyber warfare tactics.