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Beware of Deepfakes in the AI Age, Warns Kaspersky

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The widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies in recent years is providing threat actors with sophisticated new tools to perpetrate their attacks.

One of these are deepfakes which include generated human-like speech or photo and video replicas of people. While the time and effort to create these attacks often outweigh their potential ‘rewards’, Kaspersky warns that companies and consumers across Africa must still be aware that deepfakes will likely become more of a concern in the future.

“The potential for malicious use when it comes to deepfakes is clear,” says Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Client Lead at Kaspersky in Africa. “From blackmailing to perpetrating financial fraud and spreading misinformation via social media, the potential knock-on effects may be significant.

Invariably, cybercriminals are still looking for cheaper and quicker methods to propagate their campaigns.

However, we anticipate an increase in targeted attacks using deepfakes, especially against influential people and high net worth individuals or organisations in the coming years that will justify the time and effort it takes attackers to create deepfakes.”

Kaspersky research has found the availability of deepfake creation tools and services on darknet marketplaces.

These services offer generative AI video creation for a variety of purposes, including fraud, blackmail, and stealing confidential data.

According to the estimates by Kaspersky experts, prices per one minute of a deepfake video can be purchased for as little as $300.

There are also concerns across the continent when it comes to the significant divide around digital literacy amongst Internet users.

According to the recent Kaspersky Business Digitisation Survey¹ 51% of employees surveyed in the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa (META) region said they could tell a deepfake from a real image, however in a test only 25%2 could actually distinguish a real image from an AI-generated one.

This puts organisations at risk given how employees are often the primary targets of phishing and other social engineering attacks.

For example, cybercriminals can create a fake video of a CEO requesting a wire transfer or authorising a payment, which can be used to steal corporate funds. Compromising videos or images of individuals can be created, which can be used to extort money or information from them.

“Despite the technology for creating high-quality deepfakes not being widely available yet, one of the most likely use cases that will come from this is to generate voices in real-time to impersonate someone.

“For example, a finance worker at a multinational firm was recently tricked into transferring $25 million to fraudsters because of deepfake technology posed as the company’s chief financial officer in a video conference call.

“Africa is not immune to this threat and it’s important to remember that deepfakes are a threat not only to businesses, but also to individual users – they spread misinformation, are used for scams, or to impersonate someone without consent – and are a growing cyberthreat to be protected from,” says Bethwel Opil.

 


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E-Business

NDPC Empowers Institute to Certify Data Protection Professionals

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Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) has said the certification of data protection professionals in the country will significantly reduce capital flight and create more than 500,000 jobs in the sector.

NDPC Empowers Institute to Certify Data Protection Professionals

L-r: Dr. Vincent Olatunji, executive commissioner, NDPC and Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president of the Institute of Information Management,

Dr. Vincent Olatunji, executive commissioner, NDPC, stated this at the presentation of the certificate of licence to the Institute of Information Management (IMF) in Abuja.

He said the certification of data protection professionals would not only enhance the protection of personal data, but also boost the country’s economic growth and development.

The projection comes as the commission intensifies efforts to promote data protection and privacy in Nigeria’s rapidly growing digital economy.

According to Dr. Olatunji, the move aims to enhance the capacity of organisations to protect personal data and promote compliance with Nigeria’s data protection regulations.

Establishing a local institution to train and certify Nigerians would significantly enhance local content in the sector, the NDPC boss hinted.

The commission, he assured his audience, was already exploring the possibility of implementing the licencing framework across Africa—a move that could potentially harmonise data protection standards and expertise across the continent.

Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president of the Institute of Information Management, said the licence would effectively address the existing gap in the data protection ecosystem, providing a much-needed solution.

Recalling that the certification process began in 2021, Dr. Oyewole reaffirmed the institute’s dedication to excellence, pledging to provide top-notch education in data protection and set a benchmark for the country’s education system in this field.

The IIM’s certification programmes will cover essential topics such as data protection principles, risk management, and compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

The initiative is expected to boost the confidence of organisations and individuals in the country’s data protection landscape.

 

 


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CrediCorp Partners FintechNGR to Drive Consumer Credit Initiative

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Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CrediCorp), has partnered Fintech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR) to drive consumer credit scheme initiative through a robust payment platform that would be provided by members of FinTechNGR.

Speaking at a Social Meet in Lagos, organised by FinTechNGR, with the theme: “Augmenting the Future, AI, Credit and Transformation of Nigerian Finance,” the Chairman, CrediCorp Board of Directors, Aderemi Abdul-Bojela, said members of FinTechNGR would have specific roles to play in the partnership, in the areas of providing robust platform for money transfer, technology evaluation, among others.

“Today, CrediCorp is engaging with members of FinTechNGR in a social interactive gathering to discuss collaboration and support for the growth of Consumer Credit Corporation in Nigeria. We want to interact to understand how technology will drive the crediCorp initiative in Nigeria and also to understand the role that members of FinTechNGR will play in all of these initiatives around CrediCorp,” Abdul-Bojela said.

Describing the partnership as a welcome development that will enhance savings culture among Nigerians, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of FinTechNGR, Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, said: “FinTechNGR is an enabler of technology advancement in Nigeria. We bring the players together to drive technology innovation.

“Our role in the FinTechNGR-CrediCorp partnership is to ensure that our members support the growth of consumer credit in Nigeria, by providing the relevant payment platforms for all financial transactions among the banks who are the lenders, the customers who are the burrowers and the CrediCorp who is the guarantor.”

Speaking about the benefits for Nigerians, Obrimah said the Consumer Credit Corporation in Nigeria would enhance the country’s credit culture and enable Nigerians to save and plan well with their savings. “The initiative will address inflation, help in liquidity flow, build trust in customers’ borrowing, boost credit culture and enhance the culture of savings among Nigerians,” Obrimah said.

Addressing the issue of risk and consumer trust, Abdul-Bojela said the CrediCorp has put measures in place to ensure that the banks that would be involved in lending, would be protected and guaranteed of the repayment of the loans within the CrediCorp ecosystem.

He said there would be an independent management that would ensure that the right technology is put in place to recover all monies.


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NITDA to Integrate of Digital Literacy into School Curriculum

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Kashifu Abdullahi, director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), announced plans to integrate digital literacy into Nigeria’s education system, to achieve a 70% literacy rate by 2027 and 95% by 2030.

NITDA to Integrate of Digital Literacy into School Curriculum

Kashifu Abdullah, DG, NITDA

The NITDA’s DG made the announcement on Wednesday in Abuja during a media parley.

He stated that in order to include digital literacy in the curriculum at all educational levels, from kindergarten to university, the Agency was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Education.

Abdullahi, said that this program would equip Nigerians with the digital know-how and abilities they need to succeed in the digital economy.

He emphasized that NITDA would also launch the “Digital Literacy for All Initiative” to educate Nigerians outside the formal education system and provide access to quality digital content.

Nigeria would train over two million young people in in-demand IT skills in order to become significant global outsourcing hub

NITDA is also collaborating with the Defence Headquarters and security agencies to develop digital solutions to address security concerns, including the use of drones, artificial intelligence, and other digital resources to combat banditry, abduction, and terrorism, he said.

 

According to him, the agency’s draft SRAP 2.0 plan aims to establish Nigeria as a digitally empowered nation, with a focus on innovation, national prosperity, and inclusivity.

The director general of NITDA added that, if successfully implemented, this strategy could propel Nigeria into a new phase of digital empowerment and leadership in the global digital economy.


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