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If you’ve spent time on social media or the Internet, you might have come across what is a potentially concerning technological advancement – the deepfake.

Deepfake images can be seen as anything from entertaining to concerning – or even scary. A political figure spreading propaganda they didn’t truly spread. A historical figure making a speech they didn’t actually make. A famous actor doing or saying things they didn’t do or say. Or, for business, potential employees using this technology to interview for remote employment.

What is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake generally means that a person in an existing video is replaced with someone else’s likeness. Essentially, a deepfake is a photo, audio, or video that has been manipulated by Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make it appear to be something that it is not.

Check Out these DeepFake Video's

Deepfakes are not videos that have been reworked by video editing software. They are usually generated by specialized applications or algorithms, by a blend of old and newly manufactured video. These deepfake applications, rooted in machine learning, deconstruct the subtle features of someone’s face and learn how to manipulate them based on the individual conditions of the video. Those manipulations can then be integrated into a second video, making an entirely new creation.

Deepfakes come to remote job interviews

The latest trend offers a glimpse into the future arsenal of criminals who use convincing, faked personae against business users to steal data and commit fraud.

The concern comes following an advisory from the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which warned of increased activity from fraudsters trying to game the online interview process for remote-work positions. The advisory said that criminals are using a combination of deepfake videos during Zoom interviews — to misrepresent their job experience or lie about who is actually applying for the job. They use stolen personal data to misrepresent themselves and gain employment in a range of work-from-home positions that include finance, book keeping, information technology, computer programming, database maintenance, and software-related job functions.

Federal law-enforcement officials said in the advisory that they’ve received a rash of complaints from businesses. Cyber criminals use deepfake technology to conduct online fraud. For example, a recent scheme utilized artificially generated audio to match an energy company CEO’s voice. When the fake “CEO” called an employee to wire money, his slight German accent and voice cadence matched perfectly. The employee wired $243,000 to the cybercriminal before realizing his mistake. Real people are losing money to deepfake-enabled fraud online.

Advice going forward

The bottom line is that the future of work will entail a lot more hiring of remote employees, which means the risk of fraud is greatly enhanced.

The best advice for companies is to verify the identity and claims made by job candidates actively. In addition, make sure you know whom you’re hiring.

Remote hiring and remote work can help companies and employees alike. But with those benefits comes increased risk and a new imperative to check and double-check exactly who is on the other side of the job application process.

In general, the remote-work, remote-hiring reality means extra precautions must be taken by hiring managers so you know exactly who you’re hiring.


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