AI and "Vishing:" An Overview and Preventative Measures
  • 02 Jun 2023
  • 3 Minutes to read
  • Contributors
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AI and "Vishing:" An Overview and Preventative Measures

  • Dark

Article Summary

AI impersonation technology is a new and concerning cyber threat that uses machine learning algorithms to impersonate people online. Hackers can use this technology to create convincing, fake personas that they can use to trick their targets into divulging sensitive information or sending money to them. This technique, when combined with vishing, a type of phishing attack that uses voice communication instead of email, can be even more effective. It is important to be aware of this threat and take measures to protect yourself, and your company.

What is vishing?
Vishing is a type of phishing attack that uses voice communication instead of email. In a vishing attack, a hacker will call their target, posing as a legitimate person or organization, such as a bank or government agency. The hacker will then try to trick the target into divulging sensitive information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, or credit card numbers. Vishing attacks can be particularly effective, as the hacker can use a range of social engineering tactics to manipulate their target.

How does AI impersonation technology work?
AI can impersonate a person's voice by using a technique called voice synthesis, which involves analyzing a person's voice and then generating new speech that sounds just like that person. Essentially, the AI is trained to learn the unique characteristics of someone's speech patterns, such as their tone, pitch, and accent, and then use that information to create new audio that sounds like the person is actually speaking. This technology has many legitimate uses, such as in voice assistants or automated customer service, but it can also be used for malicious purposes, such as in vishing attacks where an attacker uses a synthesized voice to impersonate someone.

What are the risks of AI impersonation technology and vishing?
The biggest threat from AI impersonation technology and vishing is scammers tricking family members into believing they are in trouble and need money to get out of a fabricated situation.

"If they can find 30 seconds of your voice somewhere online, there’s a good chance they can clone it—and make it say anything." - Hany Farid, digital forensics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. (Mollman, 2023)

Victims can be easily tricked into revealing sensitive information, which can then be used for malicious activities such as identity theft and financial fraud. As such, it is crucial for individuals and organizations to be vigilant and take steps to protect themselves against these types of attacks.

Preventative measures:

  • Be vigilant and skeptical of unsolicited phone calls or emails, especially if they request sensitive information.
  • Always verify the authenticity of the communication with the organization in question if in doubt.
  • Educate yourself, family and employees about AI impersonation technology and vishing attacks and how to recognize them.
  • Establish a family secret word that can be used in times of duress to confirm your identity over the phone.
  • In addition to having a “safe word”, recommend that family members ask the caller something personal like the name of a family pet or a place they may have visited a while ago, if they receive a call asking for money
  • Invest in robust cybersecurity measures, including firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.

AI impersonation technology and vishing attacks pose a significant threat to individuals and organizations alike. By taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your company, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to these types of attacks.

If you have any further questions or concerns about these topics, please do not hesitate to reach out to BlackCloak for expert advice in protecting your digital life.

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