The most expensive video call in history, the loss of 7 billion rupees to the company due to deepfake technology

This incident happened in Hong Kong / Photo courtesy of techradar
This incident happened in Hong Kong / Photo courtesy of techradar

A Hong Kong company has lost millions of dollars as a result of deepfake technology.

According to media reports, a clerk of this company was contacted by the London-based Chief Financial Officer (CFO) through a video call and instructed to transfer money to various bank accounts.

But this ‘CFO’ turned out to be a digital avatar based on artificial intelligence (AI), which resulted in a loss of two and a half million dollars (over 6.93 billion Pakistani rupees) to the company.

The name of the company was not disclosed by police, but authorities believe that some people downloaded old conference calls and created an avatar that looked and sounded like the CFO with the help of AI technology.

The CFO and the clerk were also involved in the call, but there are conflicting reports as to whether they are real or a deepfake.

The clerk was skeptical at the beginning of the call, but the presence of the digital avatar reassured him mentally.

It is believed to be the first such incident in Hong Kong where a company has been robbed by a deepfake in a video conference.

A press conference by the local police said that six arrests have been made so far following the incident, some of whom have been using AI-based deepfake avatars in the past.

It should be noted that deepfake is a technology in which a person’s face or voice can be easily replaced by another person, making it appear that it is a video or audio of a person who is not actually him.

The technology became mainstream in 2019, and experts say it could blackmail women into producing artificial nudity and fuel political controversy.

In the beginning, deepfake photos or videos could be captured easily, but now the technology has improved.

In December 2023, a study by a company called Graphika reported that the number of links to such apps on social media platforms such as X increased by more than 24 percent during 2023.

According to research, most of such services only work on photos of women.

The researchers said that such content is posted on social media platforms due to which women face problems.

Similarly, according to VMware’s annual response threat report in August 2022, the use of this face and voice changing technology increased by 13% during 2021.

The report stated that deepfake attacks increased by 78% in 2021 and were mostly used to hack the emails of businesses.

For this purpose, the hacker impersonates himself to obtain sensitive details.

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