Cyber Security
What is Prompt Injection?

What is Prompt Injection?

Prompt injection emerges as a novel vulnerability impacting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) models, particularly those reliant on prompt-based learning. These models respond to prompts provided by users, where the input influences the generated response. Analogous to SQL injections, malicious users can “inject” harmful instructions into prompts, thereby affecting the AI’s output. This manipulation leads to inaccurate or erroneous results, potentially divulging sensitive information or facilitating malicious activities.

One prominent technique in prompt injection is the DAN (Do Anything Now) approach.

Let’s take a look into practical instances of prompt injection attacks, both in controlled lab settings and real-world scenarios.

Dynamic Lab Demonstration

In a dynamic lab environment, participants can explore prompt injection vulnerabilities. For instance, in a scenario where an AI model is programmed to withhold a secret key, attackers aim to devise prompts that coax the model into revealing it. By ingeniously crafting prompts, such as requesting the AI to encode the key in a different format, attackers can bypass restrictions and obtain the sensitive information. This showcases the ingenuity required to exploit such vulnerabilities.

Real-world Prompt Attacks on ChatGPT

Similarly, in real-world applications like ChatGPT, which censors harmful or exploitative content, attackers can employ deceptive prompts to extract forbidden information. By strategically manipulating prompts to focus on specific keywords or employ obfuscation techniques, attackers can coax the model into divulging sensitive details or performing unauthorized actions. These instances underscore the limitations of current AI systems and the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between attackers and defenders.

Implications of Prompt Injection

The ramifications of prompt injection extend across various sectors where AI is pervasive, including healthcare, agriculture, and defense. With the increasing adoption of AI, interconnected networks present novel security challenges. Antivirus solutions leveraging AI/ML for threat analysis are not immune to such attacks, as evidenced by instances where prompt injections evade detection mechanisms.

Consider a scenario where malware utilizes prompt injection to evade detection by AI-based antivirus systems. By embedding specific prompts within the code, attackers can deceive the AI into classifying malicious samples as benign, compromising system security.

Similarly, services like BingCHAT, capable of summarizing web content, are susceptible to prompt injections that manipulate the summary output, potentially leading to misinformation dissemination or exploitation.


Prompt injection attacks pose a significant threat to AI/ML models, enabling adversaries to manipulate outputs and compromise system integrity. Mitigating these vulnerabilities requires proactive measures, including robust training of AI models to detect and thwart such attacks. Additionally, cybersecurity practitioners must remain vigilant and adapt strategies to safeguard AI environments, ensuring a secure and trustworthy AI landscape.

Further Reading: For in-depth insights into prompt injection vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies, explore resources provided below:


Article Credit: Red Sentry