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Bank Heist: How Cyber Criminals Robbed UAE Bank Of Over Rs 200 Cr By Deepfaking Boss’s Voice

NEW DELHI: Cyber criminals astonished everyone by successfully carrying out a multi-billion bank heist. They employed voice cloning technology to rob a bank of billions of dollars in the UAE last year. According to estimates, they used this technology to loot the bank of at least Rs 200 crore.

The crooks pretended to be the bank’s board of directors. Artificial intelligence was applied to help with the technology. So far, just Rs 3 crore of the total sum has been recovered.

According to UAE officials, 17 people were involved in the crime, and the money was transferred to other bank accounts throughout the world by the crooks. For a more thorough inquiry, the UAE administration enlisted the assistance of American agencies.

“We are planning to make a substantial investment soon for which a large quantity of money would be necessary,” the fraudsters, posing as Bank Directors, said.

They further said, “We need $35 million (about Rs 200 crore) as soon as possible.” The incident occurred in early 2020, according to reports.

The crooks made a phone call to the bank’s manager. They deployed deep voice technology with the help of artificial intelligence when talking on the phone. Using the same technique, they imitated the voice of the company’s director and demanded an instant transfer of Rs 200 crores.

To persuade the bank staff to trust them, the criminals even wrote them a note explaining the legalities of the transaction.

“I had spoken to the director earlier and had become accustomed to his voice,” the Bank Manager added when informing about the mistake. It’s difficult to comprehend that two people may have the same voice. We had allowed such a large sum to be transferred without any cross-check.”

Cybercrime affects all countries, including India. According to a recent NCRB report, India would have 50,035 cyber-crime cases in 2020.

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