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New warning over the rise in deepfake cyberscams

This incident underscores the inherent dangers of advancing technology and underscores the urgent need for awareness of associated risks.

AI Yoon's creators believe he is the world's first official deepfake candidate
AI Yoon's creators believe he is the world's first official deepfake candidate - Copyright AFP/File Jim WATSON, Grigory DUKOR
AI Yoon's creators believe he is the world's first official deepfake candidate - Copyright AFP/File Jim WATSON, Grigory DUKOR

The continued advancement of artificial intelligence represents a remarkable milestone in technological evolution, providing significant benefits across various fields, from medicine to industrial automation.

As AI expands, it is important to recognise the inherent risks associated with this innovation. From the proliferation of deepfakes to the rise of digital scams and frauds, the increasing sophistication of AI technologies demands a balanced approach between the benefits it brings and the need for safeguards to mitigate potential negative impacts.

One such adverse impact is the case of a Hong Kong-based company falling victim to a multimillion-dollar scam, estimated at $25.6 million. The South China Morning Post reported that criminals were able to deceive the company’s CFO using advanced deepfake technology.

This technology manipulates videos or images using deep learning techniques like artificial neural networks. These techniques enable the realistic substitution of a person’s face in existing content through sophisticated algorithms, creating the illusion that the person is genuinely involved in the situation.

While this technology has been creatively utilized, it also raises concerns about its potential to spread misinformation and deceive individuals.

The scam involved the convincing digital recreation of the company’s CFO in a video conference. During the virtual meeting, all participants except the victim were false representations of real individuals. The digital impostor instructed fund transfers, resulting in significant financial loss for the company.

This incident underscores the inherent dangers of advancing technology and underscores the urgent need for awareness of associated risks.

João Mendes Miranda a digital entrepreneur based in Latin America and the founder of NonStop Produções and Chango Digital. Miranda explains to Digital Journal that the increased utilization of AI platforms, such as Dall-E and ChatGPT, has contributed to the refinement of deepfake techniques.

Miranda recommends building digital authority, believing that authenticity and uniqueness are essential in the business world.

Miranda  also emphasizes the importance of implementing stringent security measures to protect against deepfake scams. Recommendations include carefully verifying the authenticity of online communications, using multi-factor authentication systems, and ongoing education about the latest digital threats.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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