A family in Arizona recently made the news in an effort to warn others about how they became the target of scammers using AI to clone their daughters voice in a call. The call was to convince the family that their daughter had been kidnapped in order to try and get a ransom. The mother, Jennifer, would usually call herself pretty tech savvy, however she said this was something completely different.

They went on to describe how the scammers called her cell, where Jennifer answered to a man on the other end. The man was screaming obscenities and threats, saying he had their daughter tied up in the back of his truck.

What really sold the cam was the deep fake of her daughter’s voice on the line pleading for help. She kept the man on the phone while other mom's at her other daughters dance studio tried to help by calling the police. The police told her that it was possibly a scam, but she was hesitant to believe them because she would know her daughter’s voice anywhere.

The police were right and the daughter was safe at home.

This isn’t the first time this has happened according to police and that is why they were able to suggest it to be a scam in the first place. This is just the most recent way people are using AI and deepfakes in an effort to extort money from unsuspecting people. AI has become an extremely powerful tool that can be used for a lot of good, but if someone has ill intentions, it can also be used to cause a lot of harm.

It is not farfetched to think that an AI can be used to impersonate a CEO’s voice, writing style in an email or text, to try and extort money from employees or gain access to the companies’ network. If these scammers were able to get into your network, it’s only a matter of time before all of your sensitive data is going to be held for ransom.

Home Security Heroes released a report showing that 51% of common passwords could be cracked in less than a minute using AI. Both the length and complexity of the passwords factored into the speed of successfully cracking the password, but even complex ones with seven characters using both uppercase and lowercase letters, number and symbols took just minutes to figure out.

This means it is of the utmost importance that business owners no longer only rely on strong passwords and simple antivirus to protect their company.

These days it is imperative that employees go through some sort of cybersecurity awareness training. For example, simply sharing this blog and others we publish like them can help ensure that people are always on high alert for scams. However, sharing a blog won’t be enough. Ongoing reminders and formal training will go a long way so that it is always towards the forefront of your mind.
No matter how smart we think we are, no ne is above falling for these types of scams. If a mother can believe that her daughter has been kidnapped because she knows her voice, then tricking someone with a link that is sent is not out of the realm of possibility.

You also need to work with your IT company to make sure they have a wide variety of cybersecurity tools and safeguards, as well as a plan if the worst case scenarios becomes a reality. This is not an area where you want to pinch pennies. It seems inconvenient at the time, until your company is on the brink of ruin due to a breach in security.

If you want to see how at risk you are click here to take a FREE Cybersecurity Assessment. Or if you would like to schedule a call and see how we can help your business, you can contact us here.