MNC defrauded US$25million from “deepfake”

Por 22 febrero, 2024 No Comments

A multinational company has lost HK$200M (approx. US$25M) to fraudsters impersonating senior executives using deepfake technology, being the first case of its kind in Hong Kong.

On 29 January 2024, Hong Kong Police received a report where a multinational’s Hong Kong employee was deceived by someone posing as the company’s UK-based CFO and other staff, instructing the employee to transfer money to designated bank accounts. As a result, the employee made 15 transfers totaling HK$200M (approx. US$25M).

At first, the employee received what appeared to be a message from the CFO, speaking of a “top secret” transaction that must be carried out swiftly and covertly. He believed (rightly so) that it was a fraud. However, the fraudster convinced the employee to attend a video conference call as proof. By using “deepfake” technology, the fraudster impersonated the CFO by using the CFO’s face and voice. Other staff (also impersonations using “deepfake”) were also on the same call.

As the employee had met the CFO before, and believing that what he saw was genuine, the employee transferred the monies according to instructions.

It turns out that the CFO’s videos were available on YouTube. The fraudsters simply used deepfake technology to emulate his voice and facial expressions.

from HY Leung