Company loses USD 25.6 million after employees tricked by deepfake scam

A multinational company lost USD 25.6 million after its employees in the Hong Kong branch were scammed.
A representational image of online scamming. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

The dark side of deepfake technology once again emerged after a multinational company lost USD 25.6 million after its employees in the Hong Kong branch were scammed recently.

According to reports, the employees became victims of deepfake technology after a digitally recreated version of its chief financial officer directed them to transfer money in a video conference call.

Police told South China Post they were highlighting the case as it was the first of its kind in Hong Kong and involved a large sum.

The police did not reveal details about the company or the employees involved in the incident.

Acting senior superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching told the newspaper that in previous cases, scam victims were tricked in one-on-one video calls.

“This time, in a multi-person video conference, it turns out that everyone you see is fake,” he said

Deepfake and Taylor Swift

Recently, explicit deepfake images of singing sensation Taylor Swift went viral on social media.

White House reacted to the development and called it ‘alarming’.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “The circulation of false images of Taylor Swift are alarming.”

What is deepfake?

Deepfakes are a synthetic media created by machine-learning algorithms named for the deep-learning methods used in the creation process and the fake events they depict, according to Discover Data Science website.

The term reportedly gained popularity in 2017 after a Reddit user by the name of “deepfake” created a subreddit and even started posting videos that used face-swapping technology to insert celebrities’ likenesses into already existing pornographic videos.