Cybercriminals Used Deepfaked Voice Of CEO To Steal 1,7 Crore
Harin - Sep 05, 2019, 4:00 pm IST
Europe-based cybercriminals have stolen around 1,7 crore from an energy company from the UK by using a deepfaked voice of the parent company’s CEO.
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Europe-based cybercriminals have stolen around 1,7 crore from an energy company from the UK by using a deepfaked voice of the parent company’s CEO for money transfer authorization.
Reports stated that the cyber thieves have made use of the German CEO’s AI-generated voice to convince the CEO of the subsidiary company in the UK to transfer around 1,7 crore. The UK CEO was scammed into believing that he was speaking with his own boss and the transfer was to pay for a Hungarian supplier.
The companies involved have yet to be revealed.
The audio deepfake created using AI was convincing enough that it could fool the UK CEO, from the slight accent of his voice to the melody.
After the transfer was successfully made, the funds went to Mexico and to other countries, which make it difficult for the police to track where the money is at. Also, the police have identified any suspect yet.
Three phone calls were made in total. The first one was the money request, through which the criminals told the UK CEO that the parent company would make reimbursement within the hour. The next one was to tell the UK CEO that the parent company had already sent the reimbursement. And the final call was to ask the UK CEO for another transfer. However, the UK CEO became suspicious since he had received no reimbursement and the phone was from Austria. Therefore, he didn’t make the second transfer.
The police aren’t sure if the criminals used a chatbot to answer the questions of the UK CEO during the phone calls. But the possibility that everything could have been automated scares us as criminals seem to have found a more powerful tool to scam people.