Deepfake technology was initially created to create more realistic gaming experiences, movie productions, training simulations and entertainment. Deepfake tech can be used to create images, audio and videos that make a person appear to do or say something that they haven't done or said.
However, criminals are also taking advantage of Deepfake technology to create fake audio and video content. This is a growing concern because deepfake videos and images are difficult to spot, and they can cause mass panic and confusion. They can also be used to blackmail and extort people.
Hackers leverage deepfake software to produce fake or altered digital content (like photos, video, audio, and text) to perpetrate fraud, cyberattacks, or misinformation campaigns. Deepfake, backed by artificial intelligence (AI), enables cybercriminals to impersonate a well-known public figure and carry out misinformation campaigns. Individuals, too, may misuse the deepfake technology to settle scores or damage the reputation of people or rival enterprises.
What Is the Deepfake Technology?
A deepfake involves a person impersonating a public figure or an individual by digitally altering the latter’s photograph or video. Deepfake leverages artificial intelligence to create realistic fake content.
Hackers use deepfake learning to build, modify, or synthesize existing content and manipulate it into something else to elicit a public outcry or evoke criticism. The bogus content could be a video, which may include audio, to trick viewers or listeners into believing a fake event or message.
How Does Deepfake Technology Work?
Deepfake primarily uses machine learning and artificial intelligence as key components. A creator first trains a neural network on actual video footage of the subject before producing a deepfake.
The neural network allows the hackers to render a realistic "knowledge" of how the person looks in different lighting and angle settings. After that, computer graphics techniques are merged with the trained network to create a duplicate of the individual. This duplicate is then artificially combined with another actor's persona.
The Good Side of Deepfake
Deepfake technology opens a wide range of opportunities in the field of education. For a long time, teachers have relied on audio, video, and other media to disseminate information. Teachers can use deepfake to impart compelling and engaging lessons that go beyond the scope of conventional visual and media formats.
Artificial intelligence-generated synthetic media can revive historical figures to create a more engaging and dynamic classroom atmosphere. A voiceover and film of a historical character or a synthetic movie of reenactments may have a more significant impact and elicit higher engagement to emerge as an effective teaching tool.
It can also be used to create more realistic gaming experiences, movie productions, and training simulations.
Why Is Deepfake A Cybersecurity Concern?
It is getting increasingly complex to distinguish between fake and real videos as deepfake technology advances. This issue holds great significance for public figures. Malicious deepfake can damage careers and lives. Deepfake can spark worldwide controversies and escalate diplomatic rows by using phony films of foreign leaders.
Creating content specifically to go around biometric verification is a dangerous deepfake trend. Biometric technologies offer additional levels of security like face and voice recognition to automatically validate a person's identity based on their distinctive traits.
However, businesses that rely on it as part of their identity and access management strategy risk being compromised by a technology that can recreate a person's appearance or imitate a voice. Given the prevalence of remote work culture, criminals invest in such technologies to gain fraudulent access to data or systems.
The havoc wreaked by cybercriminals by leveraging phishing assaults cannot be overstated. Now, they are adding voice and video trickery to their arsenal. A typical deep-fake (phishing) scenario could be when a powerful personality requests a financial contribution.
An ‘executive’ may email an employee and attach a voicemail asking for a contribution to their charity. The unsuspecting employee may oblige and learn later that the funds went to an offshore account. The convincing power of deepfake is such that people may respond without first checking for the mail's authenticity.
Deepfake technology is a double-edged sword with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. While it can be used for good, it also poses certain risks. Businesses need to be aware of these risks and take steps to protect themselves. Biometrics are quickly replacing traditional identity verification methods such as passwords, but hackers are keeping pace with the change by leveraging deepfake to circumvent biometrics.
Multi-layered security measures and employee training can help your business stay one step ahead of cyber criminals looking to leverage deep fake technology to gain access to your networks.