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How to Spot a Deepfake Video

Cyberthreats come at us in various forms and through different platforms; they are not exclusive to e-mail or suspicious hyperlinks.  Sometimes they come in the form of a video called a “Deepfake”. 

Deepfakes are manipulated pictures or videos -- more commonly videos -- that replace existing images or videos with someone else's likeness or words. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are used to manipulate or generate visual and audio content with the potential to deceive. The results are remarkably similar. In fact, it is sometimes very difficult to spot a deepfake.

Deepfakes are often weaponized against your company in a variety of ways.  For example, a (deepfake] video of a business owner urging employees to engage in illegal activities is aimed at damaging the company and business owner’s reputation. Consequences can range as far as harm coming to others, which could bring law enforcement and legal action into the picture.  Another common tactic is a threat to publicly release of a [deepfake] video showing the target in a compromising position – taking a bribe, making disparaging comments, etc.  

The best defense against a deepfake attack is a good offense. Here are five ways to spot a deepfake.

1. The person speaking in the video shows a lack of eye movement or blinking; these are red flags. Despite today’s AI and machine learning, it remains a challenge to naturally replicate the act of blinking. It’s also a challenge to replicate a real person’s eye moments. This is because someone’s eyes usually follow the person they’re talking to.

2. Head position. Watch out for blurry face borders that subtly blend into the background.

3. Skin tone, hair and teeth. Fine details are hard to doctor in deepfakes. If the subject’s skin tone looks unnatural, hair is too smooth and teeth look too perfect, it’s probably a deepfake.

4. Slow speech and uneven intonation – The subject talks slowly and the cadence between words seems unnatural.

5. An overall strange look and feel – In the end, you should trust your instinct. Sometimes, it’s difficult to isolate the attributes that suggest a deepfake, but nevertheless you know something is just not right. If you get this feeling you’re probably right. 

Our team is constantly testing to identify the latest security challenges, changes and best practices to keep you safe and informed. We are always ready to assist you by phonechat or email.

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