In 2020, phishing is just about the common kinds of cyberattacks on businesses and individuals alike. 56% of IT decision-makers state that phishing attacks will be the top security threat they truly are facing, with 32% of hacks involving phishing. Here is video phishing and how you protect your self.
Phishing is no longer limited to emails from Nigerian princes offering the recipients massive returns on investments.
Many phishing messages and internet sites have become sophisticated to the point that users are no longer in a position to recognize them without specific training. Google now blacklists an average of 50,000 internet sites for phishing every week.
On the upside, the ways that it is possible to protect your self from phishing attacks have evolved aswell in recent years. They range from using up-to-date firewall software to using secure platforms such as for example cloud-based business phone services.
A new threat is looming on the horizon: video phishing.
Driven by technological advances, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, this new trend has the potential of causing catastrophic security breaches.
Keep reading to find out what video phishing is, what it seems like, and how you can protect yourself.
How does Video Phishing work?
Surprise! Elon Musk is interrupting your Zoom call.
Sounds fake? It is.
But it looks disturbingly real.
See the end of the document for embed.
The video above shows a software of Avatarify, a tool manufactured by a researcher to transform users in to celebrities in real-time throughout Zoom or Skype calls. Its inventor, Ali Aliev, says that the program’s purpose was to have some fun throughout COVID-19 lockdown — by surprising friends during video conferences as Albert Einstein, Eminem, or the Mona Lisa.
The technology behind donning someone else’s animated face like a mask is called deepfaking.
Deepfakes are relatively new applications of machine learning tools. These tools generate realistic faces by analyzing 1000s of videos and images of a target’s face and extracting patterns for common expressions and movements. Then, these patterns can be projected onto anybody, effectively morphing them in to someone else.
You utilize the image of Elon Musk. Or President Obama. In fact, a deep fake video of the former President calling his successor ‘a total and complete dips**t’ went viral in 2018.
The implications of this technology for cybersecurity are wide-reaching and potentially disastrous.
Because rather than trolling your pals, or insulting President Trump via some body famous deepfakes — you won’t know if it’s friends being comical — or the dangerous, video phishing.
What will be the Dangers of Video Phishing?
According to CNN, the majority of deepfake videos on the net as of the conclusion of 2019, were pornography. In total, 15,000 of such videos were counted. That might not seem like much, taking into consideration the vastness of the internet.
The reason behind these rather limited numbers has been that generating convincing deepfakes has a fair amount of computational power. Avatarify, for example, takes a high-level gaming PC to operate properly.
But lower-quality applications have been completely developed, like a face-swapping app that got banned again fairly quickly.
It is a question of time before deepfake technology becomes widely available. And widely used for cybercrime.
Some of those scams have been completely recorded and you can find them on YouTube.
In one case, hackers used similar technology to deepfake the voices of Chief executive officers and sent voicemail messages to executives. They succeeded in effecting a transfer of a mind-boggling $243,000.
In still another case, three men were arrested in Israel for swindling a businessman out of $8 million by impersonating the French foreign minister.
Experts already are warning against other possible applications of deepfake videos for frauds to generate funds. One scenario, for example, is extortion. Hackers could threaten the release of a video containing content that may be damaging to a person’s or business’ reputation. Such content could range from straight-out pornography to the CEO of a business endorsing racist views.
As experiences have shown, that may be disastrous. For businesses, even the regular type of ‘fake news’ might have catastrophic impacts on industry relationships, and even their stock market values.
“Those kinds of things can put a company out of business through reputation damage,” Chris Kennedy of the AI cyber-security platform AttackIQ said in a recent interview with Forbes. “We’re hitting the tipping point in which technology is taking advantage of the biggest human weakness, we’re over-trusting.”
How to Defend Yourself against Deepfake Video Phishing
Today, having a higher cybersecurity standard is more important than in the past. With on the web life proliferating during the COVID-19 crisis, scams and phishing attacks have flourished aswell.
The good news regarding phishing videos is that the technology, as of 2020, is still relatively new, and the case numbers relatively low. That means that individuals and companies have time and energy to prepare, and disseminate information to ward against such attacks.
Know the essential defense moves
As a most basic kind of defense, careful attention is advised in the event that you receive an unsolicited video call, particularly from some body famous or in a position of authority. Never trusting caller IDs, hanging up instantly, and perhaps not sharing any information on such calls is important.
If you receive video messages that could be authentic, nevertheless, you are uncertain about it, you should use software to find out if that which you are facing is a deep fake. For example, businesses such as Deeptrace offers computer software with the capability to recognize AI-generated video content.
Apart from that, some low-tech solutions to force away video phishing are having agreed-upon code words when communicating about painful and sensitive information via video messaging, using a 2nd communication channel to confirm information, or asking security questions that your interlocutor can only answer if they are the real thing.
Basically, pretend you’re in an old James Bond film. ‘In London, April’s a Spring month’ and all that.
Using AI to morph into somebody else and extract sensitive information may still sound futuristic. But it’s only a question of time until video phishing hits the main-stream.
As technology advances and artificial intelligence and machine learning applications to copy the face area and voice of people become widely available, how many deepfake scams is set to undergo the roof.
The best it is possible to do, is usually to be aware, keep informed, and brace yourself. Keep safe.