Forget BEC: Fraudsters deepfake CEO’s voice to trick manager into transferring money

Fraudsters deepfake CEO voice to trick manager into transferring money

Artificial Intelligent generated audio was used to trick a CEO into wiring $243,000 to a scammer’s bank account.

It’s already getting tough to discern real text from fake, genuine video from deepfake. Bill Hader channels Tom Cruise [DeepFake]:

Imagine this: You click on a news clip and see the President of the United States at a press conference with a foreign leader. The dialogue is real. The news conference is real. You share with a friend. They share with a friend. Soon, everyone has seen it. Only later you learn that the President’s head was superimposed on someone else’s body. None of it ever actually happened.
Deepfake Videos Are Getting Terrifyingly Real I NOVA I PBS.
Artificially intelligent face swap videos, known as deepfakes, are more sophisticated and accessible than ever:

Now, it appears that use of fake voice tech is on the rise too.

In a sign that audio deepfakes are becoming eerily accurate, criminals sought the help of commercially available voice-generating AI software to impersonate the boss of a German parent company that owns a UK-based energy firm.

They then tricked the latter’s chief executive into urgently wiring said funds to a Hungarian supplier in an hour, with guarantees that the transfer would be reimbursed immediately.

The company CEO, hearing the familiar slight German accent and voice patterns of his boss, is said to have suspected nothing, the report said.

But not only was the money not reimbursed, the fraudsters posed as the German CEO to ask for another urgent money transfer. This time, however, the British CEO refused to make the payment.

As it turns out, the funds the CEO transferred to Hungary were eventually moved to Mexico and other locations. Authorities are yet to determine the culprits behind the cybercrime operation.

The firm was insured by Euler Hermes Group, which covered the entire cost of the payment. The incident supposedly happened in March, and the names of the company and the parties involved were not disclosed, citing ongoing investigation.

AI-based impersonation attacks are just the beginning of what could be major headaches for businesses and organizations in the future.

In this case, the voice-generation software was able to successfully imitate the German CEO’s voice. But it’s unlikely to remain an isolated case of a crime perpetrated using AI.

What is Deepfake?
Deepfake technology invented in 2014 by Ian Goodfellow, a Ph.D. student who now works at Apple. Most deepfake technology is based on generative adversarial networks (GANs). GANs enable algorithms to move beyond classifying data into generating or creating images. This occurs when two GANs try to fool each other into thinking an image is “real.” Using as little as one image, a seasoned GAN can create a video clip of that person.