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Why Deepfakes Are the Next Big Hacking Threat

Posted on March 03, 2020

With today’s newest technology, it has become easier for hackers to successfully uncover personal information. You may be familiar with phishing, eavesdropping, or clickjacking attacks, but have you ever heard of Deepfakes? While voice assistants and devices such as smart meters and lights are becoming more common, so are the chances of you falling victim to a cybercriminal. Today, Deepfakes are the newest hacking threat.

So, what are Deepfakes?

“Deepfakes or “deep faking” is the term used to describe videos or audio recordings that are put into artificial intelligence systems which then use learnt image synthesis to alter them from their original state.” This results in the creation of videos that are so convincing that people believe they are real. For instance, let’s say you receive a video through your email of someone who you know and trust telling you instructions to do something. Now if your unfamiliar with Deepfakes you may believe the video you have received, thus sending you into deep water.  

How easy is it to make a Deepfake?

Making a Deepfake has become too easy. It is as simple as:

  • Downloading software
  • Scanning the video you plan to use
  • Match facial expressions with each sound
  • Create a 3D model of the lower half of the subject’s face

When someone edits a text transcript of the video, the software combines all this collected data — the phonemes, visemes, and 3D face model — to construct new footage that matches the text input. This is then pasted onto the source video to create the result.

How do you spot a Deepfakes?

  • Audio/Video Synchronization: Does the audio slip in and out of sync with the video
  • Shape of the mouth: If the shape of the subject's mouth does not match what they are saying
  • Static Subject: Speakers will appear "robotic" in the video, barely moving their body

There may not be a solution to deepfakes yet, but it is important that you are educated in case you do find yourself falling victim to a deepfake. 

Sources:https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/why-deepfakes-are-the-next-big-hacking-threat/ar-BBZWroe, https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/10/18659432/deepfake-ai-fakes-tech-edit-video-by-typing-new-words, https://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/how-easy-deepfake-how-work-20236484

Tagged Security, technology, Cyber, 2020

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