Deepfake phishing: Can you trust that call from the CEO?

Deepfakes use artificial intelligence (AI) to make an extremely convincing fake audio or video recording of a person. These deepfakes can make it appear that someone did or said something they never did.

The ability to create deepfakes has been around for a long time; however, technology has improved drastically over time. With modern artificial intelligence and growing access to audio and videos of people on the Internet, deepfakes are becoming more convincing and easier to create than ever before.

How deepfakes work

Modern deepfakes are made possible by sophisticated artificial neural networks (ANNs). Using a library of training data, an ANN can be taught to extract patterns and trends in the data to create the desired output. In cybersecurity, one potential application of an ANN is as a classifier to identify benign or malicious network traffic based on a model that it builds using a training set of many labeled examples.

To create a deepfake, an ANN is trained using audio or video of the desired subject. This training enables the network to learn how the subject looks or sounds under various conditions. For example, the ANN may learn how a person uses their expressions, details of intonation and accent

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