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Thieves used deepfake audio of CEO, steal $243,000

In what may be the world’s first AI-assisted heist, thieves used a deepfake of a CEO to steal many a dollar.

 

 

In the avarice of now, it’s fair to say that reality isn’t what it used to be, and fakery is our new king. Ultimately, as crime moves before everything else, and this week, we heralded in our first AI-assisted heist, with the Wall Street Journal noting that a group of crims deepfaked a CEO in order to steal $243,000.

Per Quartz, “fraudsters used AI-based software to impersonate a chief executive from the German parent company of an unnamed UK-based energy firm, tricking his underling, the energy CEO, into making an allegedly urgent large monetary transfer by calling him on the phone.”

The company’s insurer, Euler Hermes, provided new details to the Washington Post on Wednesday but refused to name the company involved. A spokeswoman from Euler Hermes said, “The software was able to imitate the voice, and not only the voice: the tonality, the punctuation, the German accent.”

 

The software was able to imitate the voice, and not only the voice: the tonality, the punctuation, the German accent.

 

E-security firm Pindrop reported a 350% rise in voice fraud between 2013 and 2017, but it is quite clear that we’re not entirely sure how to combat deepfakes and convincing voice-based fraud. Back in June, deepfakes of Mark Zuckerberg were published to Instagram and Facebook refused to delete one of politician Nancy Pelosi. According to VICE, “there is still no clear consensus on how Facebook should’ve handled that situation or future ones.”

 

 

 

 

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