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Deepfake voice generation now being used by cyber scammers

30th September 2019 | by Tim Archer, Head of Communications, RiskLogic 

Remember the scene in Terminator 2 where Arnold Schwartzenegger (playing the good cyborg) mimics John Connor’s voice on the phone to talk to his mum (who was being mimicked by the bad cyborg)?

Phone scammer

Well science fiction appears to have become science fact, with the emergence of a new fraud in Germany involving deepfake voice generation.

The Wall Street Journal has reported a case where a scammer called the CEO of an energy company and impersonated the CEO of the parent company, duping him into urgently transferring €220,000.

The case has highlighted how AI can now be used to machine learn from existing audio files to accurately mimic someone’s voice, right down to their accent and tone.

For CEOs and media spokespeople who are regularly on TV and radio, it is especially disconcerting.

The company has not been named, but their insurer, Euler Hermes Group SA, has outlined the details.

As our Head of Cyber Security Daniel Muchow says “if you don’t expect it, you should suspect it”.

“We have seen plenty of examples of this via email, where CFOs are targeted by their ‘boss’ to urgently transfer a critical payment, but this takes it to the next level,” he said.
“There is no end to how far hackers will go to convince you or your staff to hand over company money.”

“While some of them target the biggest businesses with the deepest pockets, others target businesses that may have less sophisticated checks and balances in place.”

“The big lesson here is, if a payment is urgent or out of the ordinary, take two minutes to pick up the phone and check it out.”

If you want to discuss your level of Cyber response preparedness, contact RiskLogic to find out how.

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