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Spy Allegedly Used AI-Generated LinkedIn Profile To Connect With Powerful Figures

For years, researchers and experts have warned about the risks of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it could be used for evil purposes.

Now, according to a recent report published by MIT researcher Karen Hao on MIT Technology Review, this fears seem to have a solid base.

This article informs that “a spy may have used an AI-generated face to deceive and connect with targets on social media”, more specifically, through famous social network LinkedIn.

“A LinkedIn profile under the name Katie Jones has been identified by the AP as a likely front for AI-enabled espionage”, Ms Hao states. “The persona is networked with several high-profile figures in Washington, including a deputy assistant secretary of state, a senior aide to a senator, and an economist being considered for a seat on the Federal Reserve”, she adds.

As it was previously mentioned, the fake LinkedIn profile became suspicious because of its profile image. “What’s most fascinating is the profile image: it demonstrates all the hallmarks of a deepfake, according to several experts who reviewed it”, Ms Hao expresses.

The MIT expert explained that LinkedIn is frequently used by spies because it gives access to “powerful circles”. “LinkedIn has long been a magnet for spies because it gives easy access to people in powerful circles. Agents will routinely send out tens of thousands of connection requests, pretending to be different people”, she affirmed. “Only last month, a retired CIA officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison for leaking classified information to a Chinese agent who made contact by posing as a recruiter on the platform”, she continued.

“So why did 'Katie Jones' take advantage of AI? Because it removes an important line of defense for detecting impostors: doing a reverse image search on the profile photo”, Ms Hao commented. “It’s yet another way that deepfakes are eroding our trust in truth as they rapidly advance into the mainstream”, she said.

For more information: https://www.technologyreview.com/f/613778/deepfakes-spies-espionage/


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