Fraudsters faked CEO's voice using AI, stole Rs. 1.75 crore
Artificial Intelligence is a bane to society, but it is not to say that the tech cannot be misused. We have seen several cases of AI's abuse, and in the latest one, a group of scammers has managed to steal Rs. 1.75 crore from the CEO of a German company's subsidiary. They faked the boss' voice using artificial intelligence! Here's what went down.
Just like deepfake videos, voice can also be mimicked
As many know, artificial intelligence can be used to create 'Deepfake' videos of a person and spread misinformation about them. The tech places the target's face over another person's body, thereby showing them in a completely different scene altogether. But, the thing is, it doesn't just work on video and can even copy the voice signature of a person for a fake voice model.
Now, this has been used for 'vishing' (voice phising) scam
Normally, Deepfaked videos feature fake voice samples, but in this particular case, a group of criminals mimicked the voice of a German company's CEO. They employed a commercially available voice-generating AI engine to impersonate the person and rang up the chief executive of a UK-based energy firm he owned. Then, the English company's boss was asked to wire $243,000 (Rs. 1.75 crore) immediately.
The target thought he's speaking to his boss
The AI mimicked the voice of the German CEO so accurately (with exact same accent and pattern) that the English executive was led into believing that he was actually speaking to his boss, not any fraudster. Not to mention, the attacker even promised to reimburse the funds soon, eventually persuading the target to wire the requested funds into the so-called 'Hungarian' supplier's account.
No word on the attackers since then
After the first transfer, the fraudsters placed a request for another wire transfer, but the English CEO refused. He later discovered the scam, which is now being investigated by the authorities. They are looking for the culprits but there's no trace to follow; naturally the money has been moved from the original Hungarian to Mexico and other locations.