The Wall Street journal has reported the first ever AI-based voice fraud. Due to ongoing investigations, the victims’ names are not being released, despite the incident occurring back in March. Voice fishing, also called Vishing, now joins fake text and deepfake video as rising crimes.
The fraudsters utilized commercially available voice-generating AI software to impersonate the boss of a German parent company. They then tricked that company’s UK-based firm into wiring $243,000 in funds to a Hungarian supplier, stating that the transfer would be reimbursed immediately. The UK Company CEO suspected no foul play because the AI voice had the familiar German accent and voice patterns of the boss. The funds were obviously not reimbursed, and instead found their way to Mexico and other locations. Euler Hermes Group, who insures the UK firm, covered the entire cost of the payment.
Vishing is on the rise. As Ai becomes more realistic, more criminals will try to use it to their advantage. The Israel National Cyber Directorate issued warning in July of a “new type of cyber attack” that leverages AI technology to impersonate senior enterprise executives, and last year Pindrop reported a 350% jump in voice fraud cases.
Similar to multi-factor identification, individuals and companies are urged to verify voice instructions via a second method such as email or other means.