GPT-4, an advanced language model, has been making waves in the cybersecurity world. Initially known for autonomously hacking one-day vulnerabilities with an impressive success rate, researchers have now revealed that GPT-4 can also tackle zero-day vulnerabilities. These are security flaws that are not yet known to the public.

The researchers utilized a method called Hierarchical Planning with Task-Specific Agents (HPTSA) to enable a team of autonomous Large Language Model (LLM) agents to hack zero-day vulnerabilities. This technique involves a planning agent overseeing the process and launching task-specific subagents to handle different aspects of the hacking process. This division of labor proved to be highly effective, with HPTSA outperforming a single LLM agent by 550% in exploiting vulnerabilities.

When tested against real-world web vulnerabilities, HPTSA successfully hacked 8 out of 15 zero-day vulnerabilities, while a solo LLM agent managed only 3. This impressive performance raises concerns about the potential misuse of such powerful hacking capabilities. However, researchers like Daniel Kang emphasize that GPT-4’s limitations in understanding its own capabilities and inability to hack autonomously in chatbot mode provide some reassurance.

In a conversation with ChatGPT, the language model made it clear that it is not equipped to exploit zero-day vulnerabilities and is designed to operate within ethical and legal boundaries. This underscores the importance of consulting cybersecurity professionals for handling such sensitive tasks.

Overall, the advancements made by GPT-4 and the HPTSA method highlight the growing capabilities of AI in cybersecurity. While the potential for misuse exists, responsible use and oversight are crucial in harnessing these technologies for positive outcomes. As researchers continue to push the boundaries of AI-driven cybersecurity, the need for ethical considerations and safeguards remains paramount.