Identity theft and cybercrime

Written by Mike Boutwell

September 13, 2022

Our world was steadily moving towards digitization. This process would have taken more time had it not been for the COVID-19 outbreak, which fast-forwarded the world’s transformation. Within the two years, most businesses evolved and created their online presence for the ease of everyone. However, this change opened up new avenues for some people with malicious intent.

Cybercrime took a new turn as people found a method to hijack and steal other people’s identities and use their personal information for their means. More recent and more efficient methods for such crimes were highlighted in the pandemic. 

What is Deepfake?

One of the newest techniques that were used by cybercriminals is called deepfake. Previously just seen as an excellent way to trick enemies in spy movies like Mission Impossible, deepfake is now used by hackers and other criminals to commit fraud. Deepfake is a method used to digitally change a person’s image or video and swap it with someone else’s likeness. The newest form of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies have made this possible. 

Since most recruitment processes shifted online, cyber criminals used this practice to apply as normal individuals in companies for programming and software engineering jobs. There they gained access to customer and employee data and used it as they wished. They could even access employer data, which threatened the company’s assets considerably. 

IC3 Warnings against Insider Threats

The Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) issued warnings to all employers and online recruiters. Their Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) warned that people were not only using visual deepfakes but also voice deepfakes or voice spoofing to take on a different identity to secure jobs completely. 

The HR and security teams should take extra care to identify any irregularities. They should take extra care during the recruitment and conduct detailed background checks to ensure that they do not hire frauds. If their safety net is not strong enough, internal threats will increase. Furthermore, the personal information of the entire company could be at risk. 

Deepfake detection and control

Most of these threats are applicable only when some form of video conferencing is involved. While it is still challenging to produce a compelling deep fake video or image, the perfect state of this technology is not far off. So, companies must develop software that can detect deepfakes. Deepfake detection features in video conferencing tools would be an effective way to safeguard against identity thieves and frauds. 

In a world where Instagram and Snapchat filters can drastically change the features of an individual, cybercrimes using deepfakes were bound to show up. Highly advanced countries like the United States, Japan and South Korea, which run almost everything on the internet, are bigger targets than other countries. Statistics show that the losses caused by internet crime increase yearly. So, we must create our line of defence against these cyber crimes by investing in developing software that can detect deepfakes. So, be cautious and stay safe from such cybercrimes!

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