Last year, a TikTok account went viral for its eerily accurate deep fake videos of actor Tom Cruise. Now, a year after the videos and images went viral, people are still being fooled by the advanced technological scam, with some real-world criminals using it and getting away with a $35 million bank heist. Can you tell the difference between real and fake? Not many can.
Computer-Generated Looks Too Real
A series of videos posted to a TikTok account last year took the world by storm thanks to its convincing footage. The only problem? It was totally fake. The videos were a result of “deep fake” technology, which can reproduce realistic-looking content, despite the fact that it’s completely computer-generated. Now, a year later, some people still can’t tell the difference between the deep fake videos and the real thing.
According to Lookout, a cybersecurity company, about 61% of users exposed to a video comparing a real Tom Cruise interview with a deep fake video were unable to correctly pick out the real Cruise versus the fake Cruise. Though this seems like no big deal, deep fake technology has already had a huge impact on society.
Real Fake, Real World, Real Money
Last year, a group used a deep fake of a bank CEO’s voice to trick bank employees into handing over sensitive information that resulted in $35 million in stolen funds. With cybersecurity quickly becoming an ever increasingly important security asset, attacks like these will likely become more and more common, though they’re still far from mainstream at the moment. That’s why it’s more vital than ever to learn how to spot the fakes in order to protect your personal information from scammers and phishers.
Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout, has some tips for online denizens who want to take steps to ensure their security online, and they’re tips and tricks that anyone can use to protect themselves and their personal information. First of all, remember that not everything you see online is real. Phishing attacks and other scammers can use deep fake technology to trick the naked eye, so a healthy amount of skepticism can make the difference.
If you can’t validate a company or individual’s identity with 100% certainty, be extremely cautious if they reach out to you. Even just sharing information in a digital format can be unsafe. If someone is rushing you to give them information as soon as possible, there’s reason to be skeptical. Make sure to thoroughly check out the source on any email or text message that urges an urgent response.
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