Most of the people on the Internet have probably already fallen for very well-made audio or video forgeries.

Afterwards you can laugh about it heartily.

Recognition for the counterfeiters.

Good idea.

Made funny.

But from the point of view of experts, playing with original voices and moving images is the next big scam that has the potential to replace the fake president scam that was widespread a few years ago.

Philipp Krohn

Editor in business, responsible for “People and Business”.

  • Follow I follow

"We still have surprisingly few cases," says Rüdiger Kirsch, fraud expert at the credit insurer Euler Hermes, which is part of the Allianz Group. “It's so easy to fake voices, and we will certainly get more audio and video deep fake soon.” With his company, he recently handled a case in which a British manager of a German company was supposedly commissioned by the German managing director on a Friday afternoon, 250,000 Transferring euros to a Hungarian account. Easy money for a group of criminals.

The scammers used a recording made with the voice of the real manager.

The manager had convinced that he could possibly avoid a deadline from Great Britain with a time difference.

After the weekend, the criminals reported again.

The deception was exposed by their greed.

Technically, however, the recordings were flawless.

The credit insurer paid for the default.

"It's always easier"

"You need really good forgeries, a lot of sound material, but it's always easier," says Andreas Dondera, specialist in cybercrime at the Hamburg State Criminal Police Office. While fake president attacks, in which fake instructions from a supervisor are sent by e-mail, are on the decline in his Hamburg investigation area, he expects a growing dynamic here. “Algorithms will soon be so far advanced that it will be worthwhile for criminals,” he said on Thursday in a press conference that Euler Hermes hosted in Hamburg and virtually.

Dondera suspects that more criminals will give their victims the impression that a serious emergency has occurred.

But private households should also be on their guard against cyber criminals.

It is already foreseeable that they will supposedly call from the financial advisor's cell phone number and instruct payments.

Man as a gateway

Experts recommend that companies think about preventive steps in advance and inform their employees about the dangers. "The safest thing is not to become a victim," says Dondera. Often the IT technology has already been optimized, but the risk posed by employees is underestimated. “The human is there as a gateway. That's why their awareness is such an important issue, ”he says. In addition, companies would have to have a plan on how to ensure their productivity while their systems may be shut down by fraudulent software. A ransomware attack is usually as unexpected as a car accident. You have to have a plan for him too.

Whether a company can get out of an attack by criminals depends on quick intervention, says Dirk Koch, lawyer and risk manager for data protection: "The first 72 hours are very, very important." Here it has to be decided which authority and which insurer should be involved will. “Here, decisions have to be made quickly and consciously. But there is panic. That's why it's good when someone comes in from the outside. ”Affected companies should realize that an attack could have repercussions in one or five years. "You can often feel the aftermath for another five years, for which the first 72 hours are important," says the data specialist.

The fact that so many employees recently worked from home increases the risk, argues Euler-Hermes manager Kirsch. “The distraction plays a big role: children, the dog, the postman,” he says. If you are contacted by criminals and check an invoice, you are not 100 percent concentrated in such a situation. “Even loneliness leads to becoming mute. If you don't talk, you don't ask, ”says Kirsch. Often all it takes is a question in the management's office to avoid damage.

He sees an open corporate culture, where a call to the managing director is not a hurdle, as helpful.

Recently, there have also been more frequent cases in which criminals placed orders with suppliers, changed addresses and disappeared, never to be seen again.

“Rules of compliance are overridden in the home office.

The four-eyes principle is being lifted, ”says Jesko Trahms, specialist lawyer for criminal law and partner at BDO Legal.

“This is the gateway for criminals.” Employees should have the feeling that they should ask questions.