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Study: AI-powered deepfakes see 1530% increased usage posing a threat to cyber security

Study: AI-powered deepfakes see 1530% increased usage posing a threat to cyber security

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Deepfakes in the APAC region has grown by an average of 1530% from last year, posing a threat to cyber security if the technology is misused, according to a new study. It also found that the Philippines saw the largest increase in deepfakes at 4500%, while Hong Kong experienced a 1300% increase and Malaysia along with Singapore experiencing a 1000% and 500% increase respectively.

These were the results of the Sumsub Identity Fraud Report 2023 which also highlighted that the top five industries with the highest percentage of deepfake fraud included online media, professional services, healthcare, transportation and video gaming in descending order.

Don't miss: Study: APAC ad revenues to grow by 6% to US$304bn in 2024

The report also found that deepfake technology usage was the top fraud trend due to the widespread accessibility of the technology to create highly realistic audio, photo, and video manipulations which deceive individuals and fraud prevention systems.

“Depending on their skills, fraudsters can try to deceive the system in a variety of ways—from simply wearing a mask to creating complex deepfakes, which use machine learning to either generate a fake persona or impersonate an existing person using manipulated photos and videos of them,” said Pavel Goldman-Kalaydin, head of artificial intelligence and machine learning at Sumsub.

Additionally, the proliferation of deepfake technologies is leading to cases of media manipulation which may arise in scandals such as images of the Pope wearing Balenciaga that went viral on social media earlier this year. 

“The rise of AI presents a paradox. While it can be wielded for malicious purposes, it also stands as an ally for anti-fraud solution providers," explained Penny Chai, vice president of business development, APAC, at Sumsub.

Chai also said, "the key to ensuring that AI contributes positively to society lies in the establishment of robust regulations and policy guidelines. These measures are crucial for creating an environment conducive to responsible technology use."

With the rise of identity fraud, countries are taking proactive anti-fraud measures. For example, Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority published a circular with enhanced measures to protect e-banking from fraudsters in October 2023, including enhanced monitoring for suspicious transactions and additional customer authentication.

Closer to home in Singapore, banks UOB, DBS and OCBC will allow their customers to set aside and protect a certain amount of funds that cannot be digitally transferred with their own versions of a “money lock” service to mitigate fraud cases.

Singapore also holds one of the lowest identity fraud rates in the APAC region at 0.89% while Hong Kong and Indonesia have the highest in the region at 3.33% and 3% respectively.

Similarly in Malaysia, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) will reportedly create a code of ethics framework for artificial intelligence (AI) next year. The framework is expected to include guidelines and regulations for stakeholders across various sectors.

In fact, a special committee has already been formed under MOSTI to develop the framework in collaboration with stakeholders such as industry players, said MOSTI minister, Chang Lih Kang, according to Bernama.

Related articles:
Naomi Neo partners MHA for comedic video educating Singaporeans on scam prevention
Scammers use local actor Gurmit Singh's face in fake ad
HSBC HK unveils art exhibition on fraud prevention

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