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A group of cybercriminals has managed to steal $243,000 (€222,000) by using artificial intelligence (AI) and voice technology. Using the technologies, they imitated a British entrepreneur.

The fraud took place in March this year and was carried out by an unknown group of hackers. The news was reported by The Wall Street Journal, writes IT Pro.

The criminals misused AI-controlled software to imitate the voice of the company’s CEO. In this way, his subordinate, the CEO of a British energy subsidiary, was misled.

The trick

The hackers managed to get the CEO to carry out transactions, with the excuse that the parent company needed money quickly. The money would be needed to pay a Hungarian supplier. The criminals later contacted the CEO again to reassure him that the money would be paid back.

The amount that was transferred to Hungary was shortly afterwards transferred to Mexico and various other locations. The authorities are still looking for suspects there.

The cybercriminals tried to make even more money with their trick, but it failed. They contacted the CEO of the subsidiary for the third time. Again, they asked him to transfer money quickly, but the CEO became suspicious and refused.

Foreboding for more?

According to ESET security expert Jake Moore, the attack could be a signal for the future. He expects a large increase in cybercrime using machine learning.

We’ve already seen DeepFakes where celebrities and public figures are copied in a video, but it takes about seventeen hours of material to make a convincing image. For imitating voices, far fewer recordings are needed.

We are now seeing that things like this become even easier to make, which paints a frightening picture for the future.