Taking note of ‘deepfakes’, an artificial intelligence (AI) based cybercrime that has become a latest buzzword after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and actors, including Katrina Kaif, Rashmika Mandanna and Kajol, fell prey to it, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) cyber police now plan to start a dedicated helpline to report cases and work on a tool in order to ensure detection.
WHAT IS A DEEPFAKE?
Explaining the term, Dr Rakshit Tandon, National Cyber Security Expert, said deepfake is a type of cybercrime in which someone’s identity is replicated using multiple AI tech tools to spread false information. It could be in the form of an image, video or an audio made using AI techniques. “It entails editing of the original photo or video to produce content, which although appears genuine, is actually not. The term ‘deepfake’ is a combination of ‘deep’ knowledge about the AI tool and editing and fake.”
The cyber expert said deepfakes are mostly used to produce videos, audios or images, where the face of the victim is smartly swapped. In case of deepfake voice cloning, cybercriminals use AI-based technology to impersonate a person’s voice to make calls to their near and dear ones to seek monetary help.
WHEN PM MODI FELL PREY
Deepfakes took the country by storm after PM Modi fell prey to it.
On November 17, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep concern over the misuse of AI for creating deepfakes.
“I watched a deepfake video in which I am doing garba. But the reality is that I have not done garba after my school life. Someone has made my deepfake video,” PM Modi said, while addressing the media at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Diwali Milan programme in Delhi.
The PM said deepfakes could be the ‘new crisis’ as a big section of society does not have a parallel verification system.
KATRINA KAIF, RASHMIKA MANDANNA AND KAJOL
Kajol’s deepfake video showing the actor changing clothes in front of the camera surfaced on November 17. In Mandanna’s case, the video showed a woman wearing a black outfit entering a lift. However, her face changes to that of the actor in a deep fake video. Kaif’s action sequence from Tiger-3 was morphed in her deepfake.
A day after Mandanna’s deepfake went viral, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) issued an advisory to social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to take down misleading content generated through artificial intelligence within 24 hours. The advisory reiterated existing legal provisions that platforms have to follow as online intermediaries. It mentioned Section 66D of the Information Technology Act, which entails punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resources with imprisonment up to three years and fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.
RISING TREND IN UP
Uttar Pradesh has witnessed 13,155 cases of cybercrimes between March 2022 and March 2023. Sources with the cyber police said a sizable number belongs to the deepfake category.
“Of late, there is a sudden spurt in the cases of cybercrime, involving deep fakes. There is a rise in the trend of AI-based voice cloning, deepfake videos (videos morphed using AI tools) or morphed images,” said Triveni Singh, superintendent of police (SP), cybercrime, UP Police.
THE UP WAY
Sources said UP witnessed the first case almost a year ago, where cybercriminals made deepfake images. “Initially, it was restricted to images, but, of late, cases of deepfake videos and audios have increased,” SP cybercrime said. “Cybercriminals are widely using artificial intelligence (AI) generated voice cloning or ‘voice deepfake’ to impersonate the voice of the person known to the victim to siphon off the money. It could be in the voice of a family member, a dear friend or an office colleague asking to transfer funds into their account.”
UP GOVERNMENT’S PLANS
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced establishment of 57 new dedicated cyber police stations across the state to tackle cybercrimes.
“In recent times, the nature of crime has changed due to the misuse of technology. Diverse kinds of cyber frauds related to customer care, pension, electricity bill, work from home, sextortion, loan app, parcel, franchisee, fake betting app, crypto investment fraud and others have surfaced. Common man is becoming a direct victim of this. To avoid this, we have to be vigilant at every level,” UP CM was quoted in a press release.
A DEDICATED HELPLINE TO TACKLE DEEPFAKES
The UP government is all set to launch a dedicated helpline to tackle deepfakes. Besides, the UP cyber police is also working on tools that would be used to identify deepfakes. “We are already working on the tools that can be used to identify deepfakes. We are also planning to launch a dedicated helpline apart from the regular helpline (1930) to tackle the cases of deepfakes. People can also report the matter on the existing helpline,” the SP cyber police said.