Cybersecurity Alert: Beware of Video Verification Deepfakes

Created at June 16, 2021

Try, for a moment, to remember a time before deepfakes—when technology had not yet allowed us some of the everyday conveniences that we enjoy today: when you could not order things and receive them the same day; when you could not have a face-to-face conversation with anyone, anywhere at the push of a button; and when verifying your identity in any other way than appearing in person was simply unfathomable.

Now, things are different.

Now, technology like video verification makes things like online banking (another phrase that meant nothing only 20 years ago) even more convenient, if you can believe it.

What is video verification?

Video verification is a technique used by businesses to verify the identity of customers attempting to access their account information, either with a video interview facilitated by the business itself or with customer-submitted photos or videos.

Sounds foolproof in theory, right? How could a cybercriminal possibly work around having to verify themselves in real-time on camera? Thanks to the evolution of deepfakes, it’s becoming more and more likely that they can… and will.

What are deepfakes?

In short, deepfakes are any media that is fabricated by AI or deep learning methods. More simply put, it’s a new and improved way for cybercriminals to trick their victims (businesses and individuals alike) into seeing what isn’t really there.

The most troubling form of media that the rise of deepfakes has manipulated is found in an example that indicates just how sophisticated this technology really can get: video deepfakes. According to KnowBe4, “Face swapping or puppeting is where the deepfake AI maps the face of the source images and generates a 3D face model based on the photos it is fed. The model maps out the features and then when fed a source video, it will map it over.”

See Deepfakes in Action: The Best (And Scariest) Examples Of AI-Enabled Deepfakes (Forbes)

What are the risks?

Recently, deepfakes have been used to spread hoaxes and other types of misinformation by recreating the likeness of popular opinion leaders and celebrities. Now, there’s a very real concern that they could be used to commit fraud in the form of duping the remote verification technology that helps to make our lives so convenient. This could result in sensitive information (such as bank account details, for example) being compromised without institutions even realizing that the customer whose identity they verified was not the customer at all.

It is important to note that this possibility is purely hypothetical, as no clear evidence has been found that indicates such incidents have occurred. Verifying the identity of a customer usually involves more than a single step. However, the FBI warns that it is only a matter of time before we start seeing these types of attacks emerge in the very near future.

So, if video verification deepfakes are inevitable, what can you do to counter them?

Blue Layer Protection and Training

Blue Layer lives on the frontlines of cyber defense, and we’re constantly on a vigilant lookout for innovation, both advantageous and malicious. We deploy the latest tools necessary for defending you, no matter how sophisticated the threats you’re facing might have become.

We make sure that those tools are put into the hands of those most qualified to deploy them by providing cybersecurity awareness training for your employees that updates as the industry does. Want to know what your employees need to know to look out for as deepfakes start to roll out into the world more frequently? The last thing we want is for you to be behind.

Click here to learn how Blue Layer can protect your business.

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