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European MPs Targeted By Deepfake Video Calls Imitating Russian Opposition

Saturday April 24, 2021. 12:00 AM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A series of senior European MPs have been approached in recent days by individuals who appear to be using deepfake filters to imitate Russian opposition figures during video calls. Those tricked include Rihards Kols, who chairs the foreign affairs committee of Latvia's parliament, as well as MPs from Estonia and Lithuania. Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the UK foreign affairs select committee, has also said he was targeted.

'Putin's Kremlin is so weak and frightened of the strength of @navalny they're conducting fake meetings to discredit the Navalny team,' Tugendhat posted in a tweet, referring to the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 'They got through to me today. They won't broadcast the bits where I call Putin a murderer and thief, so I'll put it here.' Kols uploaded a photograph of Leonid Volkov, an ally of Navalny, and a screenshot of his doppelganger taken from the video call. Volkov said the two looked virtually identical. 'Looks like my real face -- but how did they manage to put it on the Zoom call? Welcome to the deepfake era ' he wrote.

Kols said he had been approached by email by a person claiming to be Volkov and had held a short video-conference call with him, where they discussed support for Russian political prisoners and the Russian annexation of Crimea. Only later did he realise he may have been the victim of a hi-tech prank, he said. 'Quite a painful lesson, but perhaps we can also say thanks to this fake Volkov for this lesson for us and Lithuanian and Estonian colleagues,' he wrote. 'It is clear that the so-called truth decay or post-truth and post-fact era has the potential to seriously threaten the safety and stability of local and international countries, governments and societies.' Volkov accused a Russian duo named Vovan and Lexus, who regularly target western officials, of being behind the call.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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