Artificial Intelligence may be the exciting “new kid on the block,” but bad actors are already using it for nefarious endeavors such as crafting highly believable, error-free phishing emails to trick you and deliver viruses and ransomware right to your computer network. But what’s more disturbing is cybercriminals’ use of deepfake technology scams to spread misinformation, create false narratives and extort money from their victims.
Deepfake technology uses of AI tools to create hyper-realistic – but entirely fake – content using a person’s likeness (such as their face or voice) without their consent. Just this week, Tom Hanks warned his fans that criminals used his likeness to promote a scam dental plan that he had nothing to do with.
Everyone is at Risk - Even Your Family
Celebrities and public figures aren’t the only ones at risk of being impersonated in deepfake scams, which is why regular, everyday citizens like you and me should be concerned and take precautions to ensure cybercriminals don’t exploit our – or our loved ones’ likenesses.
It is entirely possible for bad actors to clone someone’s voice using AI technology and use it to extort money from victims. Is that “person” on the phone really your CEO requesting a money transfer? How would you know? In 2019, a UK-based energy firm’s CEO was scammed out of $243,000 by criminals using AI-based technology to mimic the voice of the CEO of its parent German company.
Another possible and even more sinister scenario is mimicking a child’s voice to convince his or her loved ones that they have been kidnapped and are in grave danger. Imagine your college-age daughter or son is on Spring Break with friends and you get a phone call from a stranger threatening to harm your child if you don’t pay a ransom. You hear “your child” in the background pleading with you to do something to help them. As a parent, you will do whatever you can to save your child, including draining your bank accounts.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Deepfake Scams
Limit Exposure. Be careful what you post to social media. That cute video of your child reciting the ABCs might be all a criminal needs to create a convincing deepfake of your baby. Don’t share vacation plans that would give a hacker convincing information to make their deepfake more believable.
Privacy Settings. Ensure your social media accounts have robust privacy settings to control who can access your content.
Secret Code. Create a secret family code word to use in emergencies. This will help you determine if a request is real or fake.
Protect Your Business from Deepfake Technology Scams
Adopt Policies and Procedures. If you are a business leader, you must have privacy policies and procedures in place to protect your assets. Start by having all employees read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy of ChatGPT and Similar AI Tools. You can download a sample policy here. https://info.mis-solutions.com/2023-tech-exchange-resources
Implement Administrative Controls. Next, you should have clearly defined administrative controls, including two-step verification, to validate any funding requests. For example, both a manager and the designated approver should verify all wire transfer requests. https://www.mis-solutions.com/2021/02/your-finance-team-is-under-attack/
Cybersecurity Training. Third, educate your employees about the dos and don’ts of Artificial Intelligence and cybersecurity. Criminals are getting craftier and you must ensure your staff is armed with the latest information so they don’t inadvertently put your business at risk.
We're Here to Help
The possibilities of AI to be used for good are endless, but so is the threat of criminals using it with malicious intent. The better educated you become about AI technology, the better chance you have of not falling victim to a deepfake scam.
Want to be part of the conversation and learn how to safely use AI technology in your business? Join us for the Lliam Road Show on Wednesday, October 25, at 6 p.m. for happy hour at Stillfire Brewing in Suwanee. Tech visionary Lliam Holmes will do a deep dive into the Deep Neural Network – the brains of AI – and how it is being trained to simulate human thinking. Lliam is highly skilled at taking complex technical concepts and boiling them down into easy-to-digest nuggets. Don’t miss it.