Deepfake; a threat to businesses

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

Deepfake is a technique for human image synthesis based on artificial intelligence. It is used to combine and superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos using a machine learning technique known as generative adversarial network

The phrase 'Deepfake' was coined in 2017. Because of these capabilities, Deepfake have been used to create fake celebrity pornographic videos or revenge porn. Deepfake can also be used to create fake news and malicious hoaxes.

Cybercriminals are starting to use Deepfake — starting with AI-generated audio — to impersonate CEOs and steal millions from companies, which are largely unprepared to combat them.

A convincing forgery could send the share price of a public listed company down or up, to extract money or to ruin its reputation in a viral instant. Imagine a convincing fake video or audio clip of the CEO of a financial institution disclosing a massive write off of the loans from the institution's balance sheet - the share price would crumple immediately.

Deepfake audio has emerged as the first real threat. Video Deepfake are also improving at a frightening pace and have become increasingly easy to make. Even if companies were clamouring for defenses, few tools exist to keep harmful Deepfake at bay. Businesses are largely defenseless for now, leaving an opening for a well-timed Deepfake to drop like a bomb.