If you have been watching the BBC drama “The captured” you may have heard about Deepfake technology.
Deepfake is an AI based technology that basically manipulates video content to present something that didn’t happen. For example, editing a person face so that it appears to be someone else. The technology itself isn’t something new. In fact, it’s been around since 2017.
It started to get noticed during 2018 when several celebrities appeared in pornographic films. These weren’t real however and were examples of early stages of Deepfake content.
Since then malicious parties have started to gain an interest into the technology as it could be used to manipulate content. Content which can be used to blackmail or trick another.
Could Deepfake start to be used in Phishing? Absolutely.
Over the past year, there has been a rise in sextortion phishing attacks where the attacker states that they have ‘incriminating’ videos of the user watching certain material. Now most realise this is false but if they were to incorporate Deepfake, the threat becomes more real. Although the video is not true, would you really want a fake video published? Most likely not. Although you know it’s fake, will others?
Some other questions around Deepfake are, will we be able to tell if the content is fake? The technology works in parallel. The AI itself is learning what it needs to fake and what is already fake. At some point, could the AI fail to notice its own work?
That would mean the only way to prove a fake is to have the original which contains the metadata. To some, that could be impossible to obtain.
It’s not just Phishing and porn though. This type of technology can be used for other things.
On the one side “fun”. ZAO is a very populate Deepfake app that allows you to be in a movie such as Titanic:
Appearing in an iconic film does sound like a laugh, but could end the same way as “Faceapp”. Thousands of people providing personal images and data to an unknown/ unmanaged source.
I covered that a bit on that here: https://ctrlaltdel.blog/2019/08/02/using-open-source-intelligence-osint/
Could it go one further and be used for crime? Governments and Police force being supplied fake evidence during cases. Political campaigns ruined because of fake campaigns?
The government are already struggling to gain control of the internet and Social media giants such as Facebook can’t shake fake content. How could they possible hope to control and prevent the use of this.
It’s not all bad though. If anything it proves that technology is massively advancing and to make it available through a mobile app is incredible!
The question is, are we ready for it?