What’s An AI Audio Deepfake?
This week we’re taking a quick break from the hardware of the voice world in order to shine a light on some of the software in the space. Nope, this isn’t something out of the latest “Terminator” movie. Today, artificial intelligence actually has the capability to study a sample of someone’s voice and, within seconds, clone it using deep fake technology.
This emerging software analyzes a person’s voice and trains itself to speak in a similar tone and cadence. Novel and funny right? Eh, yes and no. While it might be entertaining to prank a friend with this new tech, some nefarious actors are getting their hands on it as well.
Right now all a scammer needs to do is clone a voice, then type a sentence into a “text-to-speech” reader, and they’ll be talking like someone else in no time.
Luckily, these deep fakes are still fairly robotic sounding. But, that isn’t discouraging scammers from trying to make a few bucks by targeting vulnerable members of our society that might not be as tech-savvy.
Not Today, Nigerian Prince!
The most common type of audio deep fake scam at the moment is when someone calls you and mimics the voice of your boss. Most often, they will ask you for sensitive information like a bank account login or password. Or, they will simply ask you to transfer money. Luckily, these scams are relatively easy to avoid.
One cybersecurity expert recommends that all businesses should include a secondary level of security before initiating a money transfer. For example, having a secret key phrase that only people within your office know. Or, it could be as simple as asking a few clarifying questions to your “boss” before you click transfer.
Keeping Your Head (And Ears) On a Swivel
A common phrase on the football field is to “keep your head on a swivel” whenever you’re running up and down the field. In other words, always be aware of your surroundings or you might get blindsided. The same thought applies to scammers.
Now that you are aware of audio deep fakes, be extra cautious whenever you are talking to anyone on the phone. For me personally, I make a point to never answer my phone for any unknown numbers. If it’s a real person calling who needs to reach me then they will leave me a voicemail or text message. But, if the caller doesn’t leave a voicemail then it was probably just spam. This strategy doubles as a huge timesaver because, I’m not sure about you, but I get about 90 billion spam calls a day.
Scammers today have more sophisticated technology than ever. But, just keep your head on a swivel and you can avoid getting blindsided.