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The threat of deepfakes looms dangerously high

Banking and finance, administration and healthcare are the sectors where we will see the most deepfake fraud (photo: CC0 Public Domain)

Now that they know what generative AI is capable of, the majority of consumers understand how the technology can facilitate identity theft fraud. However, it seems that people tend to overestimate their ability to recognize masterful forgeries. And that can make them more vulnerable to attack.

The finding is the result of research by Jumio, a provider of automated end-to-end identity verification, risk assessment and compliance solutions. In the survey, over two-thirds (67%) said they were familiar with generative AI tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E and Lensa AI that can create fake content, including video, images and audio.

Overrated abilities

Awareness is highest among consumers in Singapore (87%) and lowest among those in the United Kingdom (56%).

Familiarity with the topic of generative AI and masterful among users is high, with 52% of respondents believing they can detect a masterful forgery video. This opinion, according to specialists, reflects “overconfidence” on the part of consumers, given that “master fakes have reached a level of perfection that prevents detection with the naked eye.”

The trend is worrying given that the Singapore Police Force found that identity fraud cost S$101.3 million in 2022. The amount is likely to rise dramatically in the very near future given the increased levels of sophistication and refinement of master forgeries.

Jumio’s data shows further steady growth in the use of increasingly sophisticated deepfakes around the world, across all industries. The most serious presence, as can be expected, is present in the field of payments and crypto-technologies.

“Many people seem to think they can spot and recognize a master fake,” commented Stuart Wells, Jumio’s chief technology officer. “While there are certainly telltale signs to look for, deepfakes are getting exponentially better by the day – and increasingly difficult to spot without the help of AI.

AI – both a problem and a solution

According to the expert, in the foreseeable future, businesses of all spheres will need technologies based on artificial intelligence to detect and recognize master counterfeits and, accordingly, protect their networks and customers from fraud. For now, however, one of the most important principles to follow is for users to be skeptical of “provocative images, videos and audio.”

Still, the research shows signs that people are aware of the change happening before their eyes. They are increasingly aware of AI technologies. Accordingly, there has been a growing understanding of how technology can be used for identity theft, the study found.

More than half of those surveyed (57%) believe online identity theft will become easier as a result of the AI ​​boom. Again, consumers in Singapore show the highest level of understanding of potential harmful use (73%).

It’s training time

At this stage, organizations whose security and IT security departments are forward-thinking enough should already be thinking about programs to educate their customers about the capabilities of generative AI technologies and the potential for them to be used for fraud.

The educational campaign will run for a long time and it is high time to start its implementation. Only then can organizations help their customers form more realistic expectations about their ability to detect master counterfeits.

In addition, the survey indicates that over two-thirds (68%) of consumers are willing to use a digital identity to authenticate themselves online. The leading sectors where they would prefer a digital identity over physical identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) are financial services (43%), government (38%) and healthcare (35%).

The consumer survey was conducted by the specialist statistics agency Censuswide. It covers 8055 adult users.

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