Do You Know Your Employee Might Just Be A Deepfake?



Millions of people can be rapidly exposed to deepfake, even your employees can be a deep fake!

Deepfaking started in a dark corner of the internet in 2012. Today it’s known for gimmicky memes, but also for serious trust and privacy violations. One of the most famous deepfakes includes the video of Mark Zuckerberg where his voice was dubbed over to sound and look like he is taunting Facebook users about access to personal data. There’s also a deepfake video of Nancy Pelosi that slows down her voice and movements to make her sound drunk and disoriented.

There has been serious concern around the 2020 election since these clips of high-profile deepfakes have gone viral. As humans, the fast operating parts of our brain automatically anchor in perception and easily snap to judgment even if we know the video is completely fake. Because millions of people can be rapidly exposed to these deepfake videos, if a candidate is attacked, there’s a possibility of groundless reputational damage and polling swing.

Companies have been increasingly complaining to the FBI about prospective employees using real-time deepfake video and deepfake audio for remote interviews, along with personally identifiable information (PII), to land jobs at American companies.

One place they’re likely getting the PII is through posting fake job openings, which enables them to harvest job candidate information, resumes, and more, according to the FBI.

Deepfake video sounds advanced. But shady job candidates don’t need exotic or expensive hardware or software to impersonate someone on a live video call- only a photo of the fake person. Consumer products like Xpression Camera enable fraudsters to upload someone’s picture and use their face during a live video interview.

The main drivers appear to be money, espionage, access to company systems, and unearned career advancement.

Many of the job openings sought by these imposters include “information technology and computer programming, database, and software related job functions. Notably, some reported positions include access to customer PII, financial data, corporate IT databases, and/or proprietary information,” according to a June 28 posted alert by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. The perfect jobs for spies.

Some imposter candidates actually work for the North Korean government, according to a statement by the FBI and the U.S. State and Treasury Departments. Because of U.S. sanctions, North Koreans are ineligible for jobs at American companies. (Companies that employ North Koreans can be fined roughly US$330,000 per violation.) So the North Korean government lets people apply and work as imposters in exchange for taking most of their salaries, or North Korean spies get jobs under false identities in order to steal secrets. Some North Koreans used their real identities but claimed they were outside North Korea.

The problem of imposter employees exists on a scale from exaggerating experience to lying about credentials and personal details to faking experience to claiming to be an entirely different person. And every facet is growing in scale.