A Hong Kong-based company lost 25 million dollars due to a deepfake scam. The one who fell into the deception, probably concocted by experts with knowledge of technology and the corporate working environment, was a employee. What caught him was a video created using artificial intelligence which portrayed the financial director of the company he works for. Here’s how it went.
Deepfake scam: It all starts with an unexpected meeting
The deepfake scam was perfectly planned: during a day in mid-January, the company employee received an email asking him to access a video conference to receive instructions about a “secret transaction” to be carried out.
Once he entered the meeting, he noticed some familiar faces, including that of CFO of the company, and others less known. During the course of the connection, she then received instructions on what to do: make 15 separate transfers to 5 different accounts totaling $25 million. The man, initially hesitant to comply with the request, is very frequent in emails from phishingsaw his doubts dissipate when his “flesh and blood” superior gave him the order.
In order not to make the victim suspect anything, the scammers continued to contact him by impersonating colleagues even in the days following the scam with calls and exchanges of messages. To find out the sad news, the employee had to wait a week, when the company contacted him to let him know that he was fell victim to a scam and that the investigations had begun.
Deepfake scam: investigation underway
Thanks to investigations, the police discovered that the content of the meeting had been created with artificial intelligence starting from images and videos available online. According to what was told by South China Morning Post – among the first to spread the news – the investigations, at least until February 4, had not led to any arrests.
The person in charge of the case, Chan Shun-ching, said that this was not the first time that the scammers tried to extort money from the company, in fact two or three other employees had already been contacted, but No details were released about the other attempts.
Deepfake scam: an increasingly concrete danger
Deepfake scams pose an increasingly greater danger to individuals and businesses. Not many days have passed since the United States saw some very provocative images circulating of Taylor Swiftone of the most renowned stars and stripes celebrities, the victim of a deepfake.
Meta, the company led by Mark Zuckerberg, recently explained through a post on its blog the need to label the images and videos created with artificial intelligence and disseminated on its platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Threads), in order not to mislead users.
In the future it will be important, both for individuals and for companies, to inform themselves on how to recognize this type of scam, which apparently is increasingly widespread among the dishonest people who populate the internet.