Deepfake could become a staple tool for organized crime, Europol report warns, calling on law enforcement to make tackling criminal use of this digital technology a priority

Deepfake could become a staple tool for organized crime, a Europol report has warned, calling on law enforcement to make tackling the criminal use of this digital technology a priority. “Advances in artificial intelligence and the public availability of large databases of images and videos mean that the volume and quality of ‘deepfake’ content is increasing,” the European police office said.

“Deepfake” or “hyperfaking”, a multimedia synthesis technique based on artificial intelligence and allowing the creation of ultra-realistic simulations of real people by replacing one face with another or one voice with another, “facilitates the proliferation of crimes,” warned Europol. Europol gives in a detailed report several contemporary examples of criminal use of technology, including disinformation, tampering with evidence, document fraud and the production of non-consensual pornography.

The report tells how criminals used a “deepfake” audio to impersonate the CEO of a company, in order to transfer 35 million dollars (33.3 million euros) to an employee. “The prevention and detection of ‘deepfakes’ must be the top priority for law enforcement,” Europol said. Much of the “deepfake” content created today is identifiable through manual methods that rely on human analysts identifying telltale signs in deepfake images and videos, according to the office.

However, this task requiring a large workforce, it is not feasible on a large scale. Europol argues that law enforcement will need to improve the skills and technology available to officers if they are to keep pace with the criminal use of ‘deepfakes’. Examples of these new capabilities range from deploying technical and organizational safeguards against video tampering to creating “deepfake” detection software that uses artificial intelligence.

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