Fraudsters use AI to impersonate the chairperson of the African Union

The African Union Commission recently fell victim to cybercrime after scammers used artificial intelligence to impersonate, Moussa Faki, the head of the organization.

The Secretariat of the African Union often writes to world leaders whenever Mr. Faki, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, has to make a call.

It is customary for the African Union leadership to request meetings with officials from other nations or international organizations in writing, known technically as a note verbale.

However, con artists impersonated him and made a number of video calls to European cities while pretending to be looking to set up meetings.

Reportedly, the hackers also used phony email accounts to pose as the organization’s deputy chief of staff in an effort to set up phone meetings between foreign leaders and Mr. Faki.

Then, using elaborate phony video adjustments to pass as the chairwoman, the pranksters held video conversations with a number of European leaders, according to Mr. Faki’s spokesman, Ebba Kalondo.

The AUC reiterated that it exclusively communicates with foreign governments through their Embassies in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, and expressed its “regret” for these instances in a statement released on Friday.

“The African Union Commission reiterates its strict adherence to diplomatic protocol and exclusive usage of Note Verbale for high-level engagement requests,” Ms Kalondo said via X, formerly known as Twitter.

Although it is yet unclear what the imposters’ motivations were, the AU statement called their fraudulent emails “phishing,” a sign that they may have wanted to steal digital identities in order to access restricted information.

Deep fakes, a technique utilized by cybercriminals, are frequently employed by various organizations to disseminate propaganda and false information.

They entail creating a film of someone doing or saying something they haven’t actually done utilizing their picture, voice, and attributes using artificial intelligence algorithms.

Source: Business Insider Africa

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