Cybercrime in the AI era

With GenAI-enhanced phishing emails, socially-engineered deepfakes and automated malware, cybercriminals are also a part of the AI revolution.

03 May 2024

Amin Hasbini, Kaspersky

At the beginning of February, a finance worker logged onto a video call. It was a multi-person call with colleagues he knew – even the company’s UK-based chief financial officer was on the call. Even though the worker was initially sceptical about the fact that the CFO needed him to perform a secret transaction, something that first came up in an email, any doubts he had were dismissed after the video call. After all, it was face-to- face with the CEO and several other senior staff members.

Two hundred million Hong Kong dollars later, it turned out that it was all a highly sophisticated social engineering scam utilising deepfake AI to create convincing images, audio, and video – in this case the CFO and other colleagues. The original mail was a phishing attempt, and the finance worker was duped by his colleagues’ deepfake replicas.

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