I'm Sorry Dave, I'm Afraid I Can't Fix Your Code: On ChatGPT, CyberSecurity, and Secure Coding

Authors Tiago Espinha Gasiba , Kaan Oguzhan , Ibrahim Kessba , Ulrike Lechner , Maria Pinto-Albuquerque

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Tiago Espinha Gasiba
  • Siemens AG, München, Germany
Kaan Oguzhan
  • Siemens AG, München, Germany
Ibrahim Kessba
  • Siemens AG, München, Germany
Ulrike Lechner
  • Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany
Maria Pinto-Albuquerque
  • Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), ISTAR, Portugal

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Tiago Espinha Gasiba, Kaan Oguzhan, Ibrahim Kessba, Ulrike Lechner, and Maria Pinto-Albuquerque. I'm Sorry Dave, I'm Afraid I Can't Fix Your Code: On ChatGPT, CyberSecurity, and Secure Coding. In 4th International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2023). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 112, pp. 2:1-2:12, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)


Software security is an important topic that is gaining more and more attention due to the rising number of publicly known cybersecurity incidents. Previous research has shown that one way to address software security is by means of a serious game, the CyberSecurity Challenges, which are designed to raise awareness of software developers of secure coding guidelines. This game, which has been proven to be very successful in the industry, makes use of an artificial intelligence technique (laddering technique) to implement a chatbot for human-machine interaction. Recent advances in machine learning led to a breakthrough, with the implementation of ChatGPT by OpenAI. This algorithm has been trained in a large amount of data and is capable of analysing and interpreting not only natural language, but also small code snippets containing source code in different programming languages. With the advent of ChatGPT, and previous state-of-the-art research in secure software development, a natural question arises: to which extent can ChatGPT aid software developers in writing secure software?. In this paper, we draw on our experience in the industry, and also on extensive previous work to analyse and reflect on how to use ChatGPT to aid secure software development. Towards this, we run a small experiment using five different vulnerable code snippets. Our interactions with ChatGPT allow us to conclude on advantages, disadvantages and limitations of the usage of this new technology.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Learning management systems
  • Security and privacy → Software security engineering
  • Applied computing → Distance learning
  • Applied computing → E-learning
  • Serious Games
  • IT-Security
  • Machine Learning
  • ChatGPT
  • Secure Coding
  • Industry
  • Software Development
  • Teaching


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