AI mimics CEO voice to scam UK energy firm out of £200k
Criminals have impersonated a chief executive’s voice using artificial intelligence-based software to deceive an unnamed UK-based CEO into making a fraudulent transfer of £200,000 according to a report in the WSJ.
WSJ’s Catherine Stupp reported that: "The CEO of a UK-based energy firm thought he was speaking on the phone with his boss, the chief executive of the firm’s German parent company, who asked him to send the funds to a Hungarian supplier. The caller said the request was urgent, directing the executive to pay within an hour, according to the company’s insurance firm, Euler Hermes Group SA. Euler Hermes declined to name the victim companies." Rüdiger Kirsch, a fraud expert at Euler Hermes, a subsidiary of Munich-based financial services company Allianz SE was reported as saying that the UK CEO recognised his boss’ slight German accent and the melody of his voice on the phone. The CEO made the requested transfer to a Hungarian supplier and was contacted again with assurances that the transfer was being reimbursed immediately.
In an email to SC Media UK, Jake Moore, a cyber-security specialist at ESET commented: "I predict that we will see a huge rise in machine-learned cyber-crimes in the near future. We have already seen DeepFakes imitate celebrities and public figures in video format, but these have taken around 17 hours of footage to create convincingly. Being able to fake voices takes fewer recordings to produce. As computing power increases, we are starting to see these become even easier to create, which paints a scary picture ahead.
"To reduce risks it is imperative not only to make people aware that such imitations are possible now but also to include verification techniques before any money is transferred. Two-factor authentication is another powerful, inexpensive and simple technique that adds an extra layer of security to protect your money going into a rogue account. When being called about a money transfer, particularly of large sums, check the number calling and ask to call back. Do so using a number in your address book, rather than hitting the "call back" option in your call history."
Stu Sjouwerman, CEO at KnowBE4 commented in his blog "This is essentially the next step up in the escalation of using social engineering in a case of CEO Fraud. You need to step your employees through new-school security awareness training to prevent human errors like this."
Relevant to both this story and news reports about Chinese deepfake app Zao, Matt Aldridge, senior solutions architect at Webroot emailed SC Media UK to add:"Deepfake-style technology – where completely believable video and/or audio of a person can be generated or swapped out from other media – is extremely dangerous. It is already being used in highly effective, targeted spearphishing campaigns and this will only continue as the technology allows the stakes to get higher. The scope for disinformation at a nation-state level is also dramatically concerning. Fake news will become infinitely more difficult to differentiate from real stories and real videos. It is a magic bullet for any authoritarian state, organisation or terrorist group that wishes to recruit members or sway opinions to achieve its own goals.
"A future of widespread distrust is coming. We may think that we’re having a video call with a close colleague or a loved one, but the other party is actually an imposter. We need to start preparing for this now and understand how we can ensure that our communications are all real and secure."
Industry: Cyber Security & Artificial Intelligence
- Information Security Manager- Global Sporting Brand. UK. £100,000
REFCH8265 Identifier Project Information Security Manager- Global Sporting Brand. UK. £100,000 A unique and exclusive opportunity to DCL Search to provide leadership and guidance Information and IT Security practices to one of the most recognised sporting brands in the world. You will be the envy of your colleagues, friends and peers as you take the lead in developing and implementing a security strategy. You must have a blend of knowledge across information security and technical security and be able to build internal and external stakeholder relationships. To coin a well known phrase, you should be a player manager. You don’t need to be currently hands on configuring firewalls, monitoring SIEM alerts, but maybe you have in the past. Ideally you will have come from a technical background as you will be closing be working with technical teams. Skills should include, but not be limited to: Managing / developing to Incident response plans. Information Security Risk Management / compliance. Security awareness Driving remediation plans to address vulnerabilities etc. Hybrid working. Up to £100,000 + benefits.
- Lead Information and Cyber Security Specialist, Financial Services. Exclusive to DCL Search
Consultative approach with experience engaging with internal stakeholders providing advice and guidance across information security policies and standards into projects and programmes. Risk identification / Assessment / Management across people and process. ISO27001. Open mindedness to take on projects and programmes that will involve advising, scoping, refining, improving technical security control relating to best practice. Preferred experience; PCI DSS ISA or consultative experience within security Payment card industry. Information Security / technical security controls within Financial Services. Risk Assessment / management across technical controls. Technical Security background. Experience within secure by design and the technical security controls relating to projects / programmes. iSO27001 Lead Implementer / Auditor. CISA, CISM, CISSP. 2 days a fortnight in London- or more if you want.. Hybrid reworking.
- Cyber Security Associate, Financial Services. Exclusive to DCL Search
Exclusive Cyber Security Associate needed within a forward thinking financial services business head quartered in London. DCL Search have been engaged on an Identifier Project to attract the very best cyber talent to this business. Influence the cyber security capability and direction within the business. Learn new skills working within a collaborative team. Grow as a security professional. ROLE Triaging and troubleshooting security alerts at a level 1 / level 2 capacity. Reviewing security change management requests. Managing and use of security tooling such as; Endpoint management Vulnerability management Patch management CASB Experience with the following tools is desirable. ZOHO Desktop Central (Endpoint Management) Splunk (SIEM) Qualys CASB (Microsoft) Microsoft Azure Varonis DatAdvantage ADAudit Plus Sonicwall, Paloalto, Dark Trace, Cloudflare, Cisco Umbrella, Microsoft defender.
- Senior Cyber Security Engineer, Financial Services. Exclusive to DCL Search
Exclusive Senior Cyber Security Engineer needed within a forward thinking financial services business head quartered in London. DCL Search have been engaged on an Identifier Project to attract the very best cyber talent to this business. Influence the cyber security capability and direction within the business. Learn new skills working within a collaborative team. Grow as a security professional. ROLE Day to day operations, management and scalability of existing cyber security systems Managing of and maturing security tooling such as; SIEM Endpoint Management Firewall Patch Management CASB Vulnerability management. Triaging and troubleshooting security alerts. Improve tooling, reducing false positives. Reviewing, approving, escalating security change management requests. Implementing new cyber security systems. Ideal technical experience · Vulnerability Management: Qualys · Endpoint Management: ZOHO Desktop Central · Forcepoint: CASB, DLP, webs security, email security. · SIEM (Splunk) · Firewalls: Sonicwall, Palo Alto · Endpoint Microsoft Defender · Appreciation of ISO27001, GDPR, PCI, etc 2 days a fortnight in London- or more if you want.. Hybrid reworking.