Scammers create 'Deepfake' of Binance executive, meet his contacts

by IANS |

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) World's largest crypto exchange Binance's chief communications officer Patrick Hillmann has revealed that online scammers made a Deepfake profile of him and tricked crypto community members into online meetings with him.

Deepfakes are video forgeries that make people appear to be saying things they never did.

Over the past month, Hillmann received several online messages thanking him for taking the time to meet with project teams regarding potential opportunities to list their assets on Binance.com.

"This was odd because I don't have any oversight of or insight into Binance listings, nor had I met with any of these people before," he said in a blogpost.

It turned out that a sophisticated hacking team used previous news interviews and TV appearances over the years to create a Deepfake of him.

"Other than the 15 pounds that I gained during Covid being noticeably absent, this deep fake was refined enough to fool several highly intelligent crypto community members," Hillmann said.

Beyond this latest incident, there's been a recent spike in hackers pretending to be Binance employees and executives on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, among others.

"We are prepared to defend our users and our ecosystem. After all, we have the largest and most experienced cybersecurity team in the industry," he mentioned.

Last year, a visual effects specialist created Deepfake photos and videos of Hollywood actor Tom Cruise that went viral on various social media platforms.

On TikTok, the account @deeptomcruise racked up tens of thousands of followers and likes.

The popular forged videos of Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went viral in 2020.

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