(Bloomberg) -- OpenAI is grappling with “abnormal traffic” that suggests hackers are trying to swamp its services, revealing for the first time the potential cause of outages that’ve plagued ChatGPT this week.

The Microsoft Corp.-backed startup, which helped galvanize the development of generative AI around the world, said it spotted signs of a Distributed Denial of Service attack, where external perpetrators try to overload a platform by repeatedly pinging it. 

“We are dealing with periodic outages due to an abnormal traffic pattern reflective of a DDoS attack. We are continuing work to mitigate this,” the startup said in its latest system update. Company representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after normal hours.

Read More: OpenAI Lets Users Make Custom Versions of ChatGPT

OpenAI’s latest post follows what it called a “major outage” across its best-known chatbot as well as tools that developers use to build on its AI. The company however said it had fixed the issue, which triggered unusually high error rates across its software and AI platform.

OpenAI, which held its first-ever developer conference on Monday, has introduced a preview version of GPT-4 Turbo, a more powerful and speedier version of its most recent large language model, the technology that underpins ChatGPT.

The chatbot was released to the public a year ago this month, kicking off a global frenzy around all things AI. Roughly 100 million people now use ChatGPT each week, the company said at the conference, and more than 90% of Fortune 500 businesses are building tools on OpenAI’s platform. 

But the ChatGPT maker is also confronting rival products from well-funded AI startups, tech giants and, most recently, Elon Musk, an early OpenAI backer.

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