We know the advancements of AI have been swift and fast, but now we're hearing about an AI scammer using deepfake technology to defraud a business by $25.6 million.
In a report published by the South China Morning Post, a thief stole HK$200 million ($25.6 million USD) using deepfake technology to host a fake video conference call, where deepfake technology showed the chief financial officer (CFO) of the UK branch of the company.
The company's finance department received a phishing message that claimed to have been from the CFO in the UK, instructing staff to execute a secret transaction, but the employee wasn't convinced. AI was then used to host a conference call that had videos of the CFO and other staff to convince the staffer to transfer the funds.
Once the staffer saw other coworkers on the video -- which were deepfaked with AI -- that was enough to convince them after a "moment of doubt" and the funds were transferred. The company employees in the call looked and sounded like real people the targeted employee recognized, which really does go to show that we simply cannot believe anything we see anymore.
In total, there were 15 transfers to five different Hong Kong bank accounts, but a week later, company officials clicked on what had happened and contacted the authorities.
Acting senior superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching said: "This time, in a multi-person video conference, it turns out that everyone you see is fake". Chan added that "they used deepfake technology to imitate the voice of their targets reading from a script" which helped them deceive employees.