A Vulnerability In ChatGPT That Exposes Users' Personal Data


OpenAI, the developer of the famous ChatGPT chatbot , revealed that the technical problem that the site suffered from last Monday , caused the leakage of some user information, including their names, email addresses, and parts of their payment information.

The company shut down access to the site for several hours last Monday due to a bug that randomly generated addresses for users' ChatGPT conversations with other users. However, the company admitted in a blog post today that a more in-depth investigation by the company revealed that the same error had exposed the payment information of approximately 1.2% of ChatGPT Plus subscribers, within a period of up to nine hours before the error was discovered.

In addition, the glitch resulted in some users being able to see the first and last names of other users, their email addresses, the last four digits of the credit card number, and the expiration date of the card. The company has confirmed that full credit card numbers for subscribers have not been leaked, has stated that the number of affected users is very low, and has notified those whose information may have been leaked.

The company said that it discovered the error in one of the open source libraries that ChatGPT uses to fetch user information from the database and store it in a way that allows for quick access to avoid requesting it every time from the database. The technical vulnerability led to confusion, which resulted in the information of a number of users appearing in other users. The company had to shut down the site for several hours to ensure that no more information was leaked while it worked to solve the problem.

OpenAI acknowledged that it had failed to live up to its commitment to user privacy and data security, apologized to ChatGPT users and confirmed that it had taken several measures to strengthen its systems. This includes extensive testing to detect potential errors, double checks to ensure data integrity, and increasing the strength and size of its database infrastructure.

ChatGPT has achieved record popularity since its launch last November, with more than 1 billion visits to the site in February, up from 616 million in January, according to Similarweb estimates. The same site reported that ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users two months after its launch, making it the fastest growing web application in history.

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