After a video call, an employee in the finance sector of a multinational firm made a transfer of 25 million dollars at the request of his interlocutors. He soon discovered the deception: he had had a conversation with unreal entities, created by cybercriminals with deepfake tools, CNN reported.
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Through this technological scheme, the hackers posed as the financial director of that company. “They were all fake,” explained the local authorities in charge of investigating the fraud.
Fooled with deepfakes: the details of the $25 million scam
In a briefing, the Hong Kong police, from where the million-dollar transfer was made, noted that the worker deceived by the hackers attended a meeting in which his bosses were replicated in the video call with the technique known as deepfake, in Spanish. “deepfake”.
Deepfakes or deep falsifications multiply the risks of fraud, due to the high degree of realism of the new systems. (Photo: Adobe Stock)
For the unsuspecting, it is a kind of improved photoshop, which in advanced cases acts in real time and also imitates voices with a high degree of realism. To do this, artificial intelligence tools are used, which operate from input data. For example, with a person's tone of voice it is possible to generate complete dialogues.
“There were several people in the videoconference, but it turns out that all the people he saw were fake,” Hong Kong authorities said in statements to local media RTHK.
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The deceived employee said that he became suspicious when the request for an urgent meeting arrived in his mailbox to complete a transfer. The message was supposedly signed by the chief financial officer of the company, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom. However, when he entered the video call and saw the faces of executives he knows personally, he believed he was conversing with real people. In total, he sent an equivalent of 25.6 million dollars.
The duped worker realized the deception when he contacted the central office. Authorities did not reveal his identity or the name of the company.
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The dangers of cloning identities through artificial intelligence systems generate concern in the field of security, transcending the problem of financial fraud. To mention a recent case, a fake call emulated the way of speaking of the president of the United States, Joe Biden, asking people not to go to vote in the primary elections in that country.