Deepfake Scams Rake In Millions, Cybersecurity Experts Warn Of Escalating Threats


Deepfake scams have become a significant threat, with criminals using generative AI to manipulate videos, sounds, and images of real individuals, leading to substantial financial losses. Experts warn that the situation could worsen as AI technology continues to evolve.

What Happened: The rise of deepfake scams has caused companies worldwide to lose millions of dollars. According to CNBC, cybersecurity professionals are warning that criminals are increasingly using generative AI to engage in fraudulent activities, potentially exacerbating the situation.

In a notable case earlier this year, a Hong Kong finance professional was deceived into transferring over $25 million to fraudsters who used deepfake technology to impersonate his colleagues during a video call. This incident, which involved UK engineering firm Arup, is just one example of the escalating threat posed by deepfake scams.

David Fairman, the Chief Information and Security Officer at cybersecurity company Netskope, attributes the surge in these threats to the widespread use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has popularized generative AI technology.

"The public accessibility of these services has lowered the barrier of entry for cyber criminals — they no longer need to have special technological skill sets," Fairman said.

Arup, the company involved in the Hong Kong case, confirmed that “fake voices and images” were used in the incident, and that the “number and sophistication of these attacks has been rising sharply in recent months.”

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These scams are not new. In 2019, the CEO of a British energy provider transferred €220,000 ($238,000) to a scammer who had digitally mimicked the head of his parent company.

Last year, researchers at the Google-owned cybersecurity company Mandiant documented several instances of illicit actors using AI and deepfake technology for phishing scams, misinformation, and other illicit purposes.

Jason Hogg, a cybersecurity expert and executive-in-residence at Great Hill Partners, highlights that deepfakes featuring top company executives can be deployed to propagate false information, manipulate stock prices, tarnish a company’s reputation and sales, and disseminate harmful disinformation.

Why It Matters: The rise of deepfake scams has been a growing concern, especially in the context of election misinformation in Asia.

The use of deepfake technology for fraudulent activities has also been a topic of discussion in the tech industry, with Meta being urged to revisit its policy after a deepfake video of President Joe Biden was circulated on its platforms.

The potential for deepfake technology to be used for malicious purposes has also been highlighted in the entertainment industry, with celebrities like Taylor Swift falling victim to deepfake videos.

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Image Via Unsplash

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Kaustubh Bagalkote

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