ACTION PUNJAB NEWS Desk: A multinational company based in Hong Kong has been ensnared in a colossal scam amounting to a staggering $25.6 million (over Rs 200 crore), reportedly orchestrated using advanced deepfake technology. Hong Kong police disclosed that employees of the company were duped through a multi-person video conference, wherein all participants, except the targeted victim, were generated using deepfake technology.
Deepfake technology utilises artificial intelligence to manipulate or fabricate visual and audio content, often with malicious intent, to mimic genuine interactions or individuals. According to reports, the perpetrators leveraged deepfake technology to transform readily available video and audio materials into realistic replicas of the company’s personnel, including a digitally cloned chief financial officer (CFO).
The victim, an employee in the finance department, received a phishing message in mid-January purportedly from the company’s CFO based in the UK. The message instructed the recipient to execute a confidential transaction.
Despite initial hesitation, the employee succumbed to the deception after participating in a group video conference. During the conference call, the deepfake representations of company employees appeared remarkably genuine, convincing the victim to comply with the instructions by initiating 15 transfers totaling $25 million to five distinct bank accounts in Hong Kong.
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How the scam unfolded:
The entire sequence of events transpired over the course of approximately one week, from the initial contact to the moment the victim discerned the fraudulent scheme. According to law enforcement officials, perpetrators utilised deepfake technology to digitally replicate the participants of the meeting, accurately mimicking their voices and appearances.
During the video conference, the scammers executed a meticulously scripted self-introduction and issued commands before abruptly terminating the meeting. Subsequently, following the initial interaction, the scammers persisted in engaging with the victim via instant messaging platforms, emails, and one-on-one video calls.
Although the police are actively investigating the case, no arrests have been made thus far.
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(Inputs from agencies)