A Scammer Stole $243,000 by Faking the Voice of a Company’s CEO

The first-ever case of an AI-based voice fraud was recently reported by The Wall Street Journal. While this shows how sophisticated AI is becoming, its implications are also quite scary.

Deepfakes have been in the media for all the wrong reasons, from superimposing a person’s face on someone else to faking whole videos (Obama’s fake address). Now, it looks like faking someone’s voice is also a piece of cake.

What Happened?

The latest victim of a voice phishing incident is a UK-based firm owned by a German parent company.

The offender impersonated the German boss with a commercially available voice generating AI and tricked the firm’s chief executive into wiring $243,000 to a Hungarian supplier and claimed that the money will be reimbursed soon.

The same fraudster tried another transfer through this method, but since the money was not reimbursed and was eventually moved to Mexico, the Chief Executive grew suspicious and refused to make the payment.

More to Come

Even though this is the first-ever vishing (voice phishing) incident, it is the first of many to come. If attacks of this magnitude keep increasing, large firms and businesses might be in for a rough ride.

Israel’s National Cyber Directorate issued a warning related to these frauds and attacks in July this year and now that an AI-based cyber-attack has claimed its first victim, companies should be more vigilant.