HomeTech British engineering firm Arup falls victim to £20m deepfake scam

British engineering firm Arup falls victim to £20m deepfake scam

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British engineering firm Arup falls victim to £20m deepfake scam

British engineering firm Arup has confirmed it was the victim of deep fraud after an employee was tricked into sending HK$200m (£20m) to criminals via an AI-generated video call.

Hong Kong police said in February that a worker at a then-unnamed company had been tricked into transferring large sums of money using a fake call “posing as senior company officials.”

Arup said in a statement that it was the company involved and confirmed that it had “notified the police of a fraud incident in Hong Kong” earlier this year. He confirmed that fake voices and images were used.

It added: “Our financial stability and business operations were not affected and none of our internal systems were compromised.”

Arup’s global chief information officer Rob Greig, who oversees the company’s IT systems, said the organization has been the target of frequent attacks, including deepfakes.

“Like many other businesses around the world, our operations are subject to regular attacks, including invoice fraud, phishing scams, WhatsApp voice spoofing and deepfakes. “What we have seen is that the number and sophistication of these attacks has increased dramatically in recent months,” he stated.

Greig said he hoped Arup’s experience would “raise awareness” of the growing sophistication of cyber attackers. financial time first reported that Arup was the target company of the scammers.

One of the world’s largest engineering consulting firms, Arup employs more than 18,000 people and is famous for providing the structural engineering of the Sydney Opera House, including its distinctive concrete structures. Recent project involvements include the Crossrail transport scheme in London and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

The Guardian revealed last week that the head of the world’s largest advertising group was the target of a deepfake scam using an AI voice clone. WPP chief executive Mark Read revealed the fraud in an email to senior colleagues and warned them to be on the lookout for calls claiming to be from senior executives.

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Hong Kong media quoted a senior police superintendent, Baron Chan, as saying the employee had been invited to a conference call with “many participants.” Because the participants “looked like real people,” Chan said, the employee transferred a total of HK$200 million to five local bank accounts through 15 transactions.

Hong Kong police said in a statement on Friday that an employee had been “deceived out of about HK$200 million after receiving video conference calls from someone posing as senior company officials requesting to transfer money to accounts.” designated banking institutions.

He said no arrests had been made so far, but the investigation was ongoing and the case was classified as “obtaining property by deception.”

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