Deepfakes and Cybersecurity

Do you know whom you are interviewing? As more and more jobs go online and remote workers are needed, the chance of coming across a deepfake candidate increases.

What is a deepfake? It is when someone uses an image on a video or manipulates their voice, in conjunction with using stolen personally identifiable information (PII), misrepresenting themselves as someone else—in this case, for remote job interviews.

Deepfakes are not new; they are just new to the hiring process. They used to be just for politicians and celebrities. In May of this year, cyber-scammers even posted a deepfake video of Elon on YouTube. It sounds and looks alarmingly realistic.

But why are they being used for job interviews? Potential deepfake users are looking for personally identifiable information about customers or employees. PII includes names, addresses, contact information, personal identification numbers, biometric data, and more. These hackers might be attempting to hijack businesses and proprietary company data, like products, domain names, trade secrets, or financial information.

Deepfake technology is not perfect, and there are certain things to look for when conducting an interview that you suspect might be a deepfake. Some signs that it may be a deepfake are:

  • The audio and the video (lip movements) don’t seem to sync. It looks just a bit off, like a dubbed movie.
  • The video does not reflect when you hear coughing, sneezing, or other noises.
  • The candidate doesn’t blink. Many deepfake criminals are not advanced enough to master the blink.
  • If the candidate claims to have a glitchy or poor internet connection and is unwilling to reschedule.

Listen to your gut; you are probably right to doubt the authenticity if something doesn’t seem quite right.

If you feel you might have encountered a scammer, you can do a few things to flush them out.

  • Set up an in-person interview. If they are using a deepfake, they can’t meet face-to-face, so the jig is up.
  • Run detailed background checks on potential candidates before onboarding new hires.
  • Make a note of their social media profiles. Does it match up? Do you know people who can corroborate their stories?

Here are some additional resources on dealing with a deepfake:

https://detectfakes.media.mit.edu/
https://www.ic3.gov/
https://checkify.com/daily-checklists/deepfake/

For more insight or assistance with Talent Acquisition, reach out to your PuzzleHR Specialist today!

References:

https://petapixel.com/2022/07/05/fbi-warns-deepfakes-might-be-used-in-remote-job-interviews/#:~:text=The%20deepfake%20videos%20include%20a,that%20can%20be%20performed%20remotely.
https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/criminals-deepfake-video-interview-remote-work
https://www.hrdive.com/news/the-fbi-says-fake-job-applicants-are-on-the-prowl-how-can-hr-protect-itsel/627197/

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