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Deepfake Technology

British Company Gets Scammed, Transfers US$25.6 million Because of a Deepfake

Morrissey Technology – The British multinational design and engineering company, Arup, admitted that it was the target of a deepfake fraud which resulted in one of its staff in Hong Kong having to pay US$25 million (around Rp. 400 billion) to the perpetrators. A London-based Arup spokesman said they had informed Hong Kong police in January about the fraud. According to the spokesperson, the fraud was carried out using fake voices and images resulting from deepfake technology.

“Unfortunately, we cannot elaborate further at this stage as the incident is still under investigation. However, we can confirm that fake sounds and images were used,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our financial stability and business operations were not affected and none of our internal systems were compromised,” the person added.

Hong Kong police in February said an Arup finance staffer was tricked into attending a video call with people he believed to be the chief financial officer and other staff members. However, they are all fake. According to police, the staff initially suspected he had received a phishing email from the company’s UK office FOR4D because the email explained the need to carry out confidential transactions. However, the worker put aside his doubts after making the video call because the other people present looked and sounded like colleagues he knew.

He then agreed to send a total of 200 million Hong Kong dollars or around US$25.6 million. Police said the funds were sent in 15 transactions. As the world’s leading engineering consulting company, Arup cannot be separated from being targeted by cybercriminals. They have often suffered cyber attacks in recent years.

“Like many other businesses around the world, our operations are subject to regular attacks, including invoice fraud, phishing scams, WhatsApp voice spoofing and deepfakes,” said Rob Greig, Arup’s global chief information officer, in a statement.

“What we have seen is that the number and sophistication FOR4D of these attacks has increased sharply in recent months,” he continued.

Authorities around the world are increasingly concerned about the sophistication of deepfake technology and the malicious uses it can employ. In an internal memo, Arup’s East Asia regional lead, Michael Kwok, said that “the frequency and sophistication of these attacks is increasing rapidly globally, and we all have an obligation to stay informed and vigilant about how to recognize the various techniques used by fraudsters. ”

Deepfake technology with artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to be widely used to produce completely new videos or audio, with the ultimate goal of depicting something that did not actually happen in reality. The term “deepfake” comes from the underlying technology – deep learning algorithms – which teach themselves to solve problems with large data sets and can be used to create fake content of real people.

“Deepfakes are recordings generated by computers that have been trained on countless images,” said Cristina López, a senior analyst at Graphika, a company that researches the flow of information in digital networks, citing Business Insider.

Meanwhile, according to Britannica, the term deepfake combines the words deep, which is taken from AI deep-learning technology (a type of machine learning that involves several levels of processing), and fake, which refers to fake content.

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