It’s been possible to alter video footage for decades, but doing it took time, plenty of resources and a lot of money. A notable example of this can be seen in 1994’s “Forrest Gump”, where filmmakers digitally inserted archival footage of JFK into a scene and manipulated his mouth movements.
However, things have matured since then, and so-called “deepfake” technology is changing the game.
Broadly defined, deepfakes are the manipulation of videos and other digital representations produced by sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI), which yield fabricated images and sounds that appear to be real.
While the technology is still in an immature phase it is developing and proliferating on a daily basis, and the theory goes that further maturity will mean that anyone could have the ability to make a convincing fake video, including some people who might seek to “weaponise” it for malicious purposes.
We are a long way off this yet, but the potential impact for this technology to do harm was seen a few years ago when criminals impersonated a chief executive’s voice and demanded a fraudulent transfer of €220,000. These ad hoc cases are concerning, albeit that had the company been using biometrics to validate the caller rather than a person just listening and making a judgement, then the fake would have been spotted. Nonetheless, we should expect criminals using deepfakes to shift their focus to the biometric technology and digital ID verification technologies that we’re becoming so reliant on, particularly in high security industries like banking and government.
So, even though the technology is relatively underdeveloped today, that’s not to say it won’t become more of a threat in the future. As the technologies used to create deepfakes are becoming more prevalent and easier to use, the quality of synthesised video and voices through deepfake technology is also improving daily.
To ensure this doesn’t impact our current security infrastructure and the biometric technology and digital ID verification systems being widely used across various industries, businesses need to get ahead. But how?
At Nomidio, our philosophy is that the best defence against deepfakes is to use as much additional input as possible and true multi-factor authentication (i.e. with more than two factors). A combination of voice and face biometrics, speech recognition, context-dependent data, and even behavioural analysis, can be combined into a single authentication system to combat and prepare for any advancement made in deepfake technology in the coming years.
For further information on how our services can help protect you from emerging threats like deepfake technology, please follow this link.