Deep fakes have long been in the cyber threat landscape, but the recent advancements in Generative AI have made deep-fake attacks more sophisticated. Deep fakes are AI-generated synthetic media that deceive or manipulate people.
For example, a deep fake could be a video or audio manipulated to make it appear that a higher authority is making an inappropriate statement when he is not.
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The development of generative AI as a subset of artificial intelligence significantly impacts various industries by helping analyze large data sets to create personalized content based on particular industry requirements.
The dark side of Generative AI
Every technology has a dark side, and Generative AI is no exception. Cybercriminals are utilizing Generative AI to create highly appealing and targeted deep fakes of CEOs and other C-level executives, which has become a profitable part of the crime-as-a-service market. These threat actors offer deep fake creation services in exchange for money or bitcoins. Competitors may use these deep fakes to harm the organization, damaging their reputation.
Cyber risks associated with deep fakes
Creation of fake candidate profiles
Cybercriminals are using Generative AI to create deep fakes of highly qualified candidates during job interviews, which can result in fraudulent hiring and privileged access to the organization. This type of manipulation is common in remote working scenarios.
Recently, a cybercriminal created a fake audio message supposedly from a director of a UAE-based company. The message was an instruction to make an immediate money transfer. Upon receiving the request, the employee transferred the money without verifying its authenticity.
For instance, deep fakes can create videos of CEOs or other high-level executives speaking falsely or misbehaving. This is particularly problematic today because of the increasing media consumption and the fact that people often rely on it for information. Such deep fakes can easily undermine an organisation’s credibility and lead to declining shares.
Identity theft is another risk, where threat actors can use deep fake images in passports that are challenging to detect. As a result, they can commit crimes while impersonating another individual.
Enhanced security protocols must be implemented.
Ensure that multi-factor authentication is enabled to prevent unauthorised access to cyber criminals which could result in data breaches which can be utilised by cybercriminals to generate deep fakes. Organizations may also consider investing in specialized software designed to detect deep fakes or consulting with outside experts to assess their vulnerability to these types of attacks.
Combat AI-generated deep fakes with AI.
One way to prevent the creation and spread of deep fake videos is through AI-based filtering. This involves using machine learning algorithms to analyze audio and video files to detect any signs of manipulation or errors that may indicate the content is not genuine.
Integrating deep fake detection strategies in organisational risk management.
It would help identify grey areas within an organization that are particularly vulnerable to deep fakes. Developing strategies to mitigate those risks could be aided by this information. In addition, it could be used to evaluate the impact of a deep fake attack on the organisation and devise a crisis plan accordingly.
Provide cyber security awareness training to employees.
Employee cybersecurity awareness training is crucial to enhancing an organization’s cybersecurity posture. The best way to achieve this is by conducting regular training sessions focusing on raising employees’ awareness of cyber threats and periodically testing and evaluating their cybersecurity behaviour.
Deep-fake attacks have become more powerful due to the rapid development of Generative AI, posing a significant cybersecurity risk to companies. Cybercriminals are utilising deep fakes to conduct various attacks, from phishing to identity theft. Implementing these countermeasures will help organisations protect their reputations and assets against potential deep fake attacks.