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5 Big Pros And Cons Of ChatGPT For Cybersecurity

Kyle Alspach

There’s mounting evidence that the AI chatbot could be a powerful tool both for hackers and for cyber defenders.


ChatGPT’s Cyber Conundrum

History reveals to us that advanced technology, even when it’s developed with the best of intentions, will inevitably end up being used in ways that cause harm. AI is certainly no exception. But with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, both the positive and negative uses of the technology seem to have been taken up a notch. And when it comes to cybersecurity, there’s now mounting evidence that the AI-powered chatbot could be a powerful tool both for hackers and cyber defenders.

ChatGPT — a virtual research and writing assistant that, at least for now, is free to use — is an amazingly helpful tool. Its knowledge is basically limitless, its ability to boil down complex subjects is superb and, oh yeah, it’s fast. But the fact that it can write programming code upon request is where many concerns about possible harms are arising.

For those intent on using the tool to write malware code for deployment in cyberattacks, “ChatGPT lowers the barrier to entry for threat actors with limited programming abilities or technical skills,” researchers from threat intelligence firm Recorded Future said in a report Thursday. “It can produce effective results with just an elementary level of understanding in the fundamentals of cybersecurity and computer science.”

[Related: ChatGPT Malware Shows It’s Time To Get ‘More Serious’ About Security]

Of course, ChatGPT has its positive uses too, including in the cybersecurity realm. Researchers at Accenture Security have been trying out ChatGPT’s capabilities for automating some of the work involved in cyber defense. The initial findings around using the AI-powered chatbot in this way are promising, according to Robert Boyce, Accenture’s global lead for cyber resilience services. It’s clear that the tool “helps reduce the barrier to entry with getting into the defensive side as well,” he told CRN.

OpenAI, which is also behind the DALL-E 2 image generator, and whose backers include Microsoft, first introduced ChatGPT in late November. This week, Microsoft said it’s making a new “multiyear, multibillion dollar investment” into OpenAI, which the New York Times confirmed as amounting to $10 billion. Microsoft had previously invested more than $3 billion into OpenAI starting in 2019, and OpenAI uses Microsoft Azure for its cloud infrastructure.

What follows are the details we’ve assembled on five big pros and cons of ChatGPT for cybersecurity.

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at

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