A multinational corporation in Hong Kong has fallen prey to a monumental scam worth $25.6 million, orchestrated through the utilisation of sophisticated deepfake technology, according to a recent report. Hong Kong authorities revealed that the company’s employees were manipulated via a multi-person video conference, where all participants, except the victim, were fabricated using deepfake technology.
The Deepfake Deception Unfolds
The perpetrators employed deepfake technology to morph publicly available video and audio clips into remarkably realistic versions of the corporation’s staff, including a digitally cloned chief financial officer.
The Phishing Ploy
In mid-January, a finance department employee received a phishing message allegedly from the company’s CFO based in the UK, directing them to execute a covert transaction.
The Deceptive Videocall
Despite initial skepticism, the employee fell victim to the deception during a group video conference. The deepfake representations of company personnel seemed genuine, prompting the victim to comply with instructions and transfer $25 million across five different Hong Kong bank accounts.
The Elaborate Scam Unfolds
Spanning approximately one week, from the initial contact to the realization of the scam, the perpetrators meticulously recreated the meeting’s participants using deepfake technology, mimicking their voices and appearances with alarming precision.
The Scammers Tactics
During the video conference, the scammers orchestrated a rehearsed self-introduction and issued commands before abruptly concluding the meeting. Subsequently, they maintained contact with the victim through various digital platforms, including instant messaging and one-on-one video calls.
While law enforcement agencies are actively probing the case, no arrests have been made as of yet. The incident underscores the growing threat posed by deepfake technology and the need for heightened vigilance against such sophisticated fraudulent activities.