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Some tricky bastards used fake voice tech to trick a CEO into wiring them $243,000

Is nothing sacred?

ceo lost money because of fake voice app
Image: Unsplash

As if it wasn’t already hard enough to distinguish real text from fake and authentic videos using deepfake tech, fake voice tech is also becoming more popular and the applications are terrifying.

The Wall Street Journal reported a case of voice fraud which is known as vishing (which is short for “voice phishing”) which led to a company losing approximately $243,000.

Fake voice tech was used to trick a CEO into wiring a quarter of a million dollars to scammers

This case dates back to March when some criminals took help from a commercially available voice-generating AI software to imitate the CEO of a German company that also owns an energy firm based in the UK. These criminals then went on to trick the unnamed energy company’s chief executive into urgently wiring the $243,000 to a Hungarian-based supplier within an hour.

The criminals made promises and guaranteed that the transfer would be reimbursed immediately. Obviously, it wasn’t.

The company’s CEO recognized the voice patterns of his boss so he did not suspect anything and wired the given funds immediately. The culprits tried to ask for a second transfer, however, this time the British CEO refused to wire the money.

The money transferred to Hungary was moved to Mexico and other locations and the proper authorities have yet to determine the culprits behind the operation. It wasn’t all bad for the firm, as the firm was insured by Euler Hermes Group, which covered the entire cost of the payment.

Could faking someone’s voice be a huge security threat in the future? Read more here.

What do you think? Surprised by the news? Worried about a future filled with deepfakes? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Murtaza is a Computer Science student who takes immense interest in mobile technology. He believes the future of computing lies in smartphones because ARM architecture will eventually take over. He also loves to tinker with ROMs and kernels keeping up with the latest in smartphones.

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