The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recently warned employers of a new scam involving “deepfake” technology.
Deepfake technology involves the digital manipulation of video or audio in an attempt to closely resemble another person. The most well-known examples of deepfakes are those mimicking entertainment and political figures.
NBC’s Today Show recently featured a story highlighting the fast-growing advancements in this field. Combined with sophisticated digital effects, an actor has been successfully utilized to create parody clips for social media with millions of views and counting. Posing as actor Tom Cruise, the likeness is uncanny and difficult to detect.
This technology, while very impressive for entertainment purposes, is already a source of concern as a means to spread disinformation or dupe unsuspecting victims.
With the FBI’s alert, an emerging scheme has been identified wherein applicants for remote work positions are believed to have used deepfake technology during their online interviews to alter their likeness and voice. Not at the level of sophistication of the creators of “Deep Tom Cruise,” these applicants have been observed to display lip movements not in sync with their speech and even cough or sneeze without a corresponding facial reaction.
It remains to be seen how this technology will ultimately be utilized and towards what goals. The FBI asks companies or victims who identify this type of activity to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. If available, providing any subject information such as IP or email addresses, phone numbers, or names will be helpful.