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Deep fake: The future of phishing scams?

As phishing scams continue to evolve, scammers look for new ways to trick people into giving up their personal information. With the rise of deepfake technology, it’s becoming clear that this powerful tool could be the future of phishing scams.

Here’s a look at why deepfakes are the future of phishing attacks and what can be done to protect against them.

What is deepfake technology?

Deepfake technology involves using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to create highly realistic fake images, videos, and audio recordings.

With this technology, scammers can create incredibly convincing phishing messages that can be used to trick people into giving up their personal information, passwords, and more.

The threat of deep fake phishing attacks

These manipulations can be incredibly convincing, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between a real image or video and a deepfake. Cyber criminals are using deepfakes to launch phishing attacks by impersonating real people or organisations and convincing victims to provide sensitive information or download malware.

Deepfakes: Types of phishing attacks

1. Spear phishing 

A common type of deepfake scam is spear phishing. Deepfake videos are used in phishing attacks to impersonate CEOs or other high-level executives. Cyber criminals can create a video of the executive asking an employee to transfer money to a specific account or perform some other action.

Since the video appears to be from a trusted source, the employee may be more likely to comply with the request, leading to a successful phishing attack.

2. Malware and ransomware

Deepfake phishing videos can also be used to spread malware or ransomware. A video may ask a victim to click on a link or download a file that contains malicious software, which can infect their device and steal or encrypt their data.

3. Phone calls and audio

Another way deepfake technology is used for phishing is over phone calls. Cyber criminals can use deepfake phishing campaign audio recordings to create voicemail messages that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or government agency.

The message may ask the recipient to call a phone number or provide personal information such as credit card details, leading to a successful phishing attack.

4. Video calls and recordings

The technology used to create deepfake videos has advanced to the point where it can replicate the facial expressions, voice, and mannerisms of a real person with remarkable accuracy. As a result, it can be difficult for individuals to detect when a video has been manipulated using deepfake technology.

How to detect deep faked scams

1. Pay attention to visual cues:

Deepfake videos may have subtle visual cues that can reveal that they have been manipulated. For example, there may be inconsistencies in lighting, shadows, or reflections. Additionally, the subject of the video may not blink as often as a real person would, or their facial expressions may appear unnatural.

2. Listen for audio cues:

Deepfake videos may also have audio cues that can give away their artificial nature. For example, the audio may not sync up perfectly with the video, or there may be anomalies in the background noise.

3. Use specialised software:

There are several software tools available that can be used to detect deepfake videos. These tools use algorithms to analyse the video and identify any signs of manipulation. However, these tools can be expensive and may require specialised expertise to use effectively.

4. Verify the source:

If you receive a video from an unknown source or a source that you do not trust, it is important to verify its authenticity before sharing or responding. This can involve contacting the alleged source directly or using trusted sources to verify the information in the video.

Deepfakes: How to protect from Phishing Scams

Protecting against deep fake phishing attacks is challenging, as it can be difficult to detect when an image or video has been manipulated. However, there are several steps that individuals and organisations can take to reduce the risk of falling victim to a deep fake phishing attack:

  1. Stay vigilant and always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for information or actions.
  2. Phishing training for employees: train employees to be aware of deep fake threats and to question anything that seems suspicious or out of place.
  3. Use multi-factor authentication to make it harder for cybercriminals to access online accounts with stolen credentials.
  4. Use trusted sources to verify the authenticity of an email address or message before responding or clicking on a link.
  5. Use anti-phishing and anti-malware software to prevent phishing emails and fake websites.
  6. Apply security patches without delay. 

Protect your brand from the future of phishing scams

Deepfakes represent a significant threat to Cyber Security and are likely to become increasingly common in phishing attacks. It is crucial for  organisations to be aware of this threat and take steps to protect themselves.

By staying vigilant, having layers of protection and implementing best practices for online security, you can help prevent these attacks from being successful.

If you would like to chat to our team of security experts about how to protect against phishing threats and develop an effective phishing training programme, you can call us on 0121 663 0055, start a live chat or email

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