How Can You Spot Deepfakes?

How Can You Spot Deepfakes?

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Deepfakes, an AI-based technology to create false content, have become easier than ever to make. The FBI suspects Russian and Chinese actors are using synthetic profile images in an attempt to cause misinformation. In a statement, the FBI has issued a stark warning saying “malicious actors almost certainly will leverage synthetic content for cyber and foreign influence operations in the next 12-18 months.”

“Synthetic content” refers to any manipulated or generated content across video, photo, text, and audio. It also includes deepfakes, which use artificial intelligence to replace the likeness of one person with another.

The statement cited by said these actors were using synthetic profile images derived from GANs [generative adversarial networks]. They also pointed to an increase in the number of fake journalists and articles circulating online. While these journalists had a “robust online presence,” their fraudulence can be uncovered by “basic fact-checks.”

The FBI said they had “identified multiple campaigns which have leveraged synthetic content” since late 2019, and the number looks set to grow. These attacks were carried out to “advance tradecraft and increase the impact” of the perpetrators’ activities.

In its statement, the FBI also detailed how to spot deepfakes: 

1. Too much space between the subject’s eyes as well as head and torso movements and issues of synchronization between face and lip movements could be key clues.

2. The FBI also issued detailed guidance on how individuals could protect themselves from cybercrime, notably outlining that people should not assume an online profile corresponds to a person.

3. They also said users should seek multiple sources of information and exercise caution when providing confidential information online or over the phone.

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