ChatGPT continued to face intermittent outages late Wednesday, which the platform’s maker OpenAI blamed on a potential cyberattack, hours after the AI chatbot platform recovered from a wide outage that the company initially attributed to a surge in interest for its new features.
Early on Thursday, OpenAI’s service status page displayed a notification saying both ChatGPT and its API services—which are used by developers on the platform—were facing “periodic outages.”
The company says the outages are a result of “an abnormal traffic pattern” that bears the signs of a “DDoS attack.”
A Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) attack involves an attempt to overwhelm an online service by flooding it with more requests than it can handle.
OpenAI said it is “continuing work to mitigate this,” but at the time of publishing, the issue has lasted over six hours.
According to data from Downdetector—which tracks outages based on user reports—users of the AI platform appear to be facing some issues, but the scale of the problem appears to be smaller than the major outage the company faced earlier on Wednesday.
ChatGPT and its API faced a major outage that lasted nearly two hours earlier on Wednesday. Users who tried to access the chatbot were greeted with a message telling them “ChatGPT is at capacity right now.” On its status page, the company said it was seeing “errors impacting all services”, but the problem was identified and a fix was deployed. The platform also witnessed a partial outage on Tuesday night. OpenAI competitor, Anthropic, also faced problems with its Claude chatbot on Wednesday, as it informed users trying to access the platform that it was facing “unexpected capacity constraints,” CNBC reported. It is unclear if Anthropic’s outage was linked to OpenAI’s, and if the “capacity constraints” were a result of ChatGPT users trying to find an alternative during its outage.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman blamed its initial outage on a surge in interest in the platform’s new features, which were unveiled on Monday. Altman tweeted: “usage of our new features from devday is far outpacing our expectations. we were planning to go live with GPTs for all subscribers monday but still haven’t been able to. we are hoping to soon. there will likely be service instability in the short term due to load. sorry :/”
OpenAI’s ChatGPT back online after ‘major’ outage (CNBC)