We witness the rapidly growing popularity of chatbots in the customer service industry. These AI-powered tools are designed to mimic human conversation. Businesses are using chatbots to provide assistance to customers in a quick and efficient manner. However, there is a new threat to the rise in demand for these chatbots, the threat of being jailbroken and used for unethical purposes.
In the context of chatbots, jailbreaking refers to the process of bypassing security measures in order to gain access to its code or functionality. Jailbreaking otherwise can be used to gain access to features and applications that are not publicly released. But jailbreaking chatbots can be done to test the limits of the bot’s capabilities, exploring its underlying code, and using it to spread spam or phishing messages.
However, jailbreaking chatbots can lead to severe consequences, even spreading malware or stealing sensitive information from users.
A new pastime for the tech community
There are several anonymous Reddit users, tech workers, and university professors who are altering chatbots like ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing. These enthusiasts use prompts to jailbreak such AI tools and unlock responses that the bot otherwise is unable to provide. Developers limit these chatbots to ensure their ethical uses. Although the techniques employed by these prompts may result in the dissemination of harmful ideas, including hate speech or misinformation, they also help to underscore both the capabilities and constraints of AI models.
Riedl, a student of human-centered artificial intelligence managed to successfully manipulate the results offered by Bing Chat. He added text on his websites that merged with the background, it was not visible to a normal visitor but an AI chatbot will manage to read that, thus altering its response accordingly.
Similarly, Alex Albert a computer science student at the University of Washington released his own newsletter, The Prompt Report where he mentioned all the prompts that can be used to push the limits of AI chatbots like ChatGPT.
How Chatbot Safeguards Can Be Bypassed
There are several techniques to bypass chatbots-:
Reverse Engineering the Bot’s Software
By reverse engineering, the bot’s software, a jailbreaker can gain a better understanding of how it works and how its security measures are implemented. This can make it easier to find weaknesses that can be exploited to bypass those measures.
Manipulating Input and Output Channels
Chatbots typically communicate with users through various input and output channels, such as text messages or voice commands. By manipulating these channels, one can trick the bot to reveal sensitive information or execute unintended commands.
Social engineering refers to manipulating people in order to gain access to information that would otherwise be off-limits. A jailbreaker may use social engineering techniques to trick the bot’s developer or its users into revealing sensitive information or granting access to the bot’s code.
To ensure the continued success and security of chatbots, developers must prioritize the implementation of robust security measures and companies must invest in cybersecurity professionals with the expertise to properly secure these tools.
Open AI spokesperson recently said that the company encourages people to explore the capabilities and limits of their AI models. But he also mentioned that such activities should be done under the policies of the company. According to the spokesperson prompts that violate their policies such as generating harmful, offensive, and violent responses can lead to the ban or suspension of the user.