- Users have been reporting access issues with the ChatGPT website en masse since yesterday.
- OpenAI says that the chatbot’s site and API are dealing with connectivity issues following a suspected DDoS attack.
- ChatGPT servers typically deals with millions of users per day so the extent of the attack must be quite large.
Incredibly popular generative AI chatbot ChatGPT is suffering from sporadic outages following a loss of service yesterday afternoon at around 17:00.
According to OpenAI’s website status dashboard, the chatbot and API are dealing with periodic outages due to “abnormal traffic patterns.” The company says these patterns are reflective of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
Threat actors use these types of attacks to stop a website from being able to offer any services to users by flooding the servers with abnormally large amounts of internet traffic, usually through the forms of automated bots – in the hundreds of thousands or even more – accessing the site at the same time.
The largest DDoS attack ever recorded was by Google, which saw 398 million server requests, “more requests than the total number of article views reported by Wikipedia during the entire month of September 2023,” according to CSHub.com.
OpenAI says it is actively working to mitigate the suspected attack but some users are still reporting spotty access to ChatGPT, which at its height earlier this year was marking 25 million visitors a day. With ChatGPT servers able to deal with millions of users per hour, the abnormal traffic must be quite sizeable to disrupt its servers.
According to DownDetector, a platform where users can report their inability to access certain websites, ChatGPT saw a massive outage spike at around 17:00 on Wednesday, followed by a series of gradually shrinking spikes meaning that while access has been returned some users are still struggling to connect.
We managed to access the website without any issues this morning.
The last update from OpenAI’s team was at 05:49 this morning. Both the ChatGPT API and the ChatGPT site itself are listed as seeing “degraded performance.”
Earlier this week OpenAI launched a new feature where users subscribed to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise could customise and create new GPTs – or the models that chatbots like ChatGPT use to generate conversational text – in order to fine tune the company’s chatbot to fit a number of needs or specific requirements.
“For example, GPTs can help you learn the rules to any board game, help teach your kids math, or design stickers,” OpenAI explained in a blog post.