ICYMI: Zelenskyy ‘Deepfake’ Ushers in New Era of Techno-Warfare

As we continue to relegate more and more of our daily lives into the digital dimensions, the cons and scams that we must avoid will become far more technologically advanced and difficult to identify.  This is simply the nature of the internet, where pseudo-anonymity is granted with simple access.

And now, worse still, amateur video technology has caught up to, (and in some cases surpassed), what even Hollywood is willing or able to accomplish.  This has ushered in the era of the “deepfake”, in which just about anyone can make a semi-convincing yet phony video of a celebrity saying just about anything they’d like them to say.

When this technology is not used for entertainment purposes, there are horrid consequences abound.

A fake and heavily manipulated video depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy circulated on social media and was placed on a Ukrainian news website by hackers Wednesday before it was debunked and removed.

The video, which shows a rendering of the Ukrainian president appearing to tell his soldiers to lay down their arms and surrender the fight against Russia, is a so-called deepfake that ran about a minute long.

Scarier still: It took some innate knowledge of Zelenskyy to spot the problem.

While the video shows a passable lip-sync, viewers quickly pointed out that Zelenskyy’s accent was off and that his head and voice did not appear authentic upon close inspection.

Facebook and Twitter were able to quickly identify and remove the altered video, but experts believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Moscow’s misinformation campaigns.