This Is How A Deepfake Voice Clone Sounds Like (Clip Taken From A Real Scam)

You may have seen it in the movies before but the strange application of deep fakes is here in the form of new audio deepfake scam. Hackers are taking advantage of the AI technology to clone a person’s voice and then with the help of social engineering techniques, they are making people move their money wherever the bad actors want.

As such scams have gained headlines, there has always been one concern of how good the voice clones are that make attackers easily target whoever they want. While we had never really heard any audio coming from any deepfake scam, a security consulting firm NISOS has released one audio clip that was sent to an employee in a tech firm (whose name is not provided)

In the clip, you would hear the attacker speaking like the company’s CEO to fool the employee into providing help regarding an urgent business deal. The quality is no so great and even sounds slight robotic but still it is passable. Furthermore, if you are a junior employee of any organization and your boss orders you to do something, you wouldn’t really care about whether the call is fake or original in the given circumstances.

According to Rob Volkert, a researcher at NISOS, the voice turned out to be more human when they checked the box but they were not sure whether it sounded really like the CEO.

Fortunately, the attack was an unsuccessful one because the employee who received the call immediately figured out that it was suspicious and told about it to the firm’s legal department. That being said, such attacks are bound to happen in more numbers because deepfake tools are becoming more easily accessible.

If you want to create a voice clone then all you need is lots of recordings of the specific person. With lots of data, you can easily improve the audio quality and eventually, the result of the whole scam would be pretty much in your favor. In fact, recordings of such senior executives can be taken easily as they often have to socialize in the form of giving interviews and speeches.

The best and probably the biggest deep fake scam took place in 2019 when the Cheif Executive of a UK Energy Firm was asked to send €220,000 ($240,000) to a Hungarian supplier within an hour by supposedly the CEO of his company’s parent firm in Germany. He sent the money like a good CEO and later no one has been able to catch the attackers to date.

Earlier in 2020, the FTC has started warning people about the deepfake audio scams. There is also an easy way out to spot a scam call as revealed by Patrick Traynor of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering who suggests that people should hang up the phone and call the person back to confirm if the orders are true.

If your luck is bad only then you would be connected to the same state actor who might have the access to reroute phone calls by now. Otherwise, you will always be safe with this little trick.

Read next: AI Based Voice Cloning Is Giving Rise To Another Big Security Scam
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