Phishing works so well that cybercriminals don't need deepfakes

Phishing works so well that cybercriminals don't need deepfakes ...

According to John Shier, a senior security adviser for Sophos, scammers may never need to run deepfakes at an all-time high. There are other, more effective methods to smuggle people into giving away personal information and payment information.

Shier said deepfakes aren''t that popular among scammers, mainly because they aren''t necessary in his speech to The Register (opens in new tab).

"The thing with deepfakes is that we aren''t seeing a lot of it," he said. "People will give up information if you just ask well."

Deepfakes in the future

Deepfakes are forms of artificial intelligence used to create authentic-looking videos of people saying things they have actually been coded to do by a programr.

Identity theft is one of the common uses for deepfakes in scams. In 2018, researchers highlighting the dangers of deepfakes used the technology to steal the identity of former US President Barack Obama and spread a hoax across the internet.

Deepfakes might be overkill for some types of fraud, but Shier believes romance scams (where a scammer closes with their victim online to encourage them to send money their way) may benefit the internet, as videos will give an inherent credibility to an online persona.

Shier believes that deepfakes would not have the greatest effect on socially-engineered fraud in the future, and that we should be cautious about deepfakes being used in organized crime.

"It''s like it''s a few years away from a big impact," said one analyst. "In the close, well-resourced crime organizations will make a lot of effort to trick people into directing financial statements."

In an interactive and compositional study titled On the horizon, Shiers wasn''t the only security researcher concerned about deepfakes. Eric Horvitz, Microsoft''s chief science officer, discussed the possibility of advanced deepfake use in fraud cases last month.

Horvitz discusses his belief that in the near future, we will not be certain if the person who spoke to on a video call is real or an impostor, because deepfake technology has become easier to obtain and operate.

Deepfakes are now available in open source tools, lowering the cost of technical knowledge to produce and then distribute them with lightning speed across social media. We can expect deepfakes to become difficult to divisive from reality.

While deepfakes may be quite so common at the moment, it is clear that scammers are still committed to exploiting the technology to ensnare their victims over the internet. The ubiquitous nature of the internet means that a victim might be anywhere, and that is the reason.