Cybercriminals used an AI-generated deepfake hologram of Binance Chief Communications Officer Patrick Hillman to orchestrate a series of attacks against crypto projects.
Perpetrators used the maliciously crafted video to impersonate Hillman and trick users into joining online meetings, seemingly taking an interest in company clients’ projects.
Binance’s CCO confirmed the scam, stating that an experienced hacking group used video footage of previous TV appearances and interviews to generate the convincing deepfake hologram.
“It turns out that a sophisticated hacking team used previous news interviews and TV appearances over the years to create a ’deep fake‘ of me,” reads Hillman’s blog post. “Other than the 15 pounds that I gained during COVID being noticeably absent, this deep fake was refined enough to fool several highly intelligent crypto community members.”
The CCO described how, over the past month, he received several messages of appreciation for taking the time to participate in online meetings with crypto project teams. All sessions seemingly revolved around the same topic: potential opportunities to list assets on the popular crypto trading platform.
This was odd because I don’t have any oversight of or insight into Binance listings, nor had I met with any of these people before.
Aside from the deepfake, the company noticed a spike in scams that involve impersonating Binance executives and employees on various platforms, such as LinkedIn, Telegram, Twitter and others. Although Binance is taking steps to ensure the well-being and security of its platform and customers, the burden of keeping safe often falls on the users’ shoulders.
Hillman’s blog post also has a few security recommendations to keep safe against crypto scams, including:
- Staying vigilant
- Reporting any suspicious activities or accounts to the Binance Support department
- Using the Binance Verify tool to check the legitimacy of official Binance accounts. The recommendation also states the tool isn’t foolproof and can be easily bypassed by threat actors who spoof their email addresses or use the real name of a Binance employee.
Specialized tools such as Bitdefender Ultimate Security can help you deter scammers, with features like:
- Password manager
- Breach monitor
- Real-time fraud monitor
- Network threat protection module against botnet, malware, exploits and brute forcing
- Anti-phishing module that identifies and blocks websites that mimic legitimate ones to steal your credentials or assets
- Anti-fraud system that warns you of potential website scams
- Real-time protection against cyber threats (zero-day, viruses, worms, ransomware, trojans, spyware, rootkits)