By Meredith Somers
Why It Matters
Deepfakes can be used to manipulate and threaten individuals and corporations. But with a better understanding of the technology, executives can take steps to protect themselves and their companies.
In March 2019, the CEO of a U.K-based energy firm listened over the phone as his boss — the leader of the firm’s German parent company — ordered the transfer of €220,000 to a supplier in Hungary.
News reports would later detail that the CEO recognized the “slight German accent and the melody” of his chief’s voice and followed the order to transfer the money [equivalent to about $243,000] within an hour. The caller tried several other times to get a second round of money, but by then the U.K. executive had grown suspicious and did not make any more transfers.