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Wholesale Banking

See through the illusion of deepfake

The number of CxO frauds via the means of deepfake is increasing. The sophistication of these frauds can lead to significant financial and reputational damage to your organisation, making it crucial for employees at all levels to be informed and vigilant. 

The faces you trust could betray you

Imagine this: you are busy with your daily work, and you receive a video call. On the screen appears the familiar face of your CEO, asking you to authorise a substantial, urgent transfer to acquire another business.

The request is confidential: only you can be trusted with this assignment, and the face you trust asks you to act swiftly and silently. Nobody can know about this because if this leaks, the deal could fail. You feel flattered that the CEO is entrusting you with this assignment.

But here's the twist: it's not your CEO! It's a deepfake - a digital clone so convincing that you can't even tell.

Welcome to the era of deepfake deception

AI technology is evolving rapidly, while it boosts our productivity and brings advancements, fraudsters are also exploiting it to create scams.

Deepfakes have emerged as a formidable weapon, exploiting our trust in familiar faces and voices. That is why deepfake is ideal to be used in a CxO fraud, adding an extra layer to the illusion, and making it even more believable.

Two examples to illustrate this new reality:

  1. The Bunq bank was hit by a deepfake attack in October 2023 and shared it with the public about this emerging threat
  2. Finance worker in Hong Kong pays out $25 million after video call with deepfake “chief financial officer”

How to reduce deepfake fraud risk

To reduce the risk significantly, awareness is key. You should always design your processes accordingly. Everybody in the organisation needs to be vigilant. Always be alert to the unexpected.

If the request is urgent, secret, or confidential, and thus out of the ordinary, it should be considered fake because that is not how we designed our protocol.

Processes: No matter who appears to be asking, always follow protocol. Use a separate, secure channel to verify the request with the sender. Set up segregation of duties within your financial processes. Make sure your Corporate Admin sets up the four-eye principle for transactions in InsideBusiness. ING can do it for you if you don’t have a Corporate Admin configured within InsideBusiness.

Educate your employees to speak up if they spot something suspicious like an urgent, secret, or confidential request.  

Trust but verify: The protocols of your organisation are the weapons against fraud. Your employees are the human firewall that can safeguard your organisation.

Read more about fraud prevention on Banking Safely.