Cybersecurity firm cautions organisations, individuals against deepfakes increase

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A cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky has cautioned organisations and individuals in Africa to be on alert as deepfakes are still going to be a bigger problem in the future

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies have become widely used in recent years, giving threat actors more advanced tools with which to launch assaults.

The enterprise client lead for Kaspersky in Africa, Bethwel Opil, noted that even though the time and effort required to create such attacks frequently outweigh any possible benefits, The potential for malicious use when it comes to deepfakes is clear.

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“The potential for malicious use when it comes to deep fakes is clear, from blackmailing to perpetrating financial fraud and spreading misinformation via social media, the potential knock-on effects may be significant.

Invariably, cybercriminals are still looking for cheaper and quicker methods to propagate their campaigns. However, we anticipate an increase in targeted attacks using deepfakes, especially against influential people and high net worth individuals or organisations in the coming years that will justify the time and effort it takes attackers to create deepfakes.” He noted.

According to Kaspersky research, deepfake creation tools and services are available on darknet markets. GenAI video creation is available from these firms for a range of uses, such as data theft, blackmail, and fraud. Experts from Kaspersky have estimated that the cost of a minute of a deepfake movie is approximately N361,000 ($300.)

According to the 2023 Kaspersky Business Digitisation Survey, which gathered input from 2 000 respondents across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa region, 51% of employees believed they could differentiate between a deepfake and a real image. However, in a test, only 25% were actually able to distinguish a real image from an AI-generated one.

Opil noted that employees are frequently the main targets of phishing and other social engineering attacks, this puts organizations at danger citing a recent occurrence, he added that cybercriminals can fabricate a video purporting to show a CEO authorizing a payment or requesting a wire transfer in order to steal company funds. It is possible to produce compromised photos or videos of someone and use such to demand money or information from them.

“Despite the technology for creating high-quality deep fakes not being widely available yet, one of the most likely use cases that will come from this is to generate voices in real-time to impersonate someone.

Read Also: How to safeguard your organisation from being a disinformation campaign target

For example, a finance worker at a multinational firm was recently tricked into transferring $25 million to fraudsters because of deepfake technology posed as the company’s chief financial officer in a video conference call.” Opil noted.

Opil concluded that Africa is not exempt from this threat as deepfakes pose a threat to both businesses and individual users, as they disseminate false information, can be used for fraudulent activities, or to impersonate someone without their permission and are an increasingly prevalent cyberthreat that needs to be avoided.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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