The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns about a growing trend of malicious individuals using deep fake technology for explicit extortion attacks. This brand of extortion involves threatening victims with publicly releasing explicit images or videos unless they pay a ransom. Previously, the compromising content used in extortion was often fake, but now threat actors are scraping publicly available images from social media platforms. They use these images as input for deep fake content creation tools, generating AI-generated explicit content that looks highly realistic. The FBI has observed an increase in extortion victims reporting the use of fake images or videos created from their social media posts or captured during video chats.
Bad actors are achieving this with content creation tools available online, including free ones, that can generate realistic videos using just a single image of a person’s face. While some of these tools have built-in protections, those sold on underground forums and the dark web may not.
The FBI’s alert mentions two common demands made by malicious actors: demanding payment with threats to share the images/videos with family or social media friends if funds are not received or forcing the victim to send real sexually-themed images or videos. The created explicit content may be posted directly to pornographic websites, exposing victims without their consent. This media manipulation activity has unfortunately affected minors as well.
To protect oneself, OIT recommends practicing safe habits online, considering the risks of sharing personal media, restricting access to personal content, and reporting any deep fake content or threats to OIT Security, UAPD, and hosting platforms.
Link to FBI Article