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McAfee's Project Mockingbird fights back against deepfakes

Find out how the security pros are taking on scammers.


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The advances in AI are very exciting just now. Whether it’s generating video with just a few words or clever AI phone tech that can help us every day. But with all new tech, there can be downsides too.

Unfortunately, scammers are using a new generation of AI for malicious purposes. From cloning celebrity voices to producing fake audio content, customers are being fooled into doing things like downloading an app, sending money or buying fake goods. Increasingly, it can be tough to tell between real and scam.

Fortunately, internet security experts McAfee are fighting back against fakes.

Introducing Project Mockingbird

At CES 2024, McAfee unveiled Project Mockingbird, which included a new tool that can detect AI and weed out fake online content.

If you're worried about falling victim to one of these sneaky scams, you're not alone. McAfee's Deepfakes Survey found that 84% of Americans are worried about the rise of deepfakes. In fact, one-third (33%) of Americans say that they, or someone they know, have already encountered a deepfake AI scam.

This is where authentic videos are spliced together with fake audio to literally change the words coming out of someone’s mouth. That means that what trusted figures have said is being radically altered. Scary stuff.

Fortunately, McAfee’s new Deepfake Audio Detection technology is pretty slick. It can sniff out fake audio clips with over 90% accuracy. Think of it like a polygraph test for your online content. With McAfee's tech, you’ll be able to tell whether what you're seeing or hearing is the real deal or just AI-generated nonsense.

But Project Mockingbird isn't just about stopping scams. Aimed at everything from election meddling, to cyberbullying to uncovering fake news, it's also about rebuilding our trust in the digital world.

Steve Grobman, McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer said: “This takes protection in the age of AI to a whole new level. We aim to give users the clarity and confidence to navigate the nuances in our new AI-driven world, to protect their online privacy and identity, and well-being.”

Why is it called Mockingbird?

Mockingbirds mimic other sounds. And cybercriminals are using AI tricks to imitate things we’d normally trust, to feed us false information or steal our private information and money.

But with Project Mockingbird on our side, we hope to rest a little easier knowing we've got a digital superhero watching our backs.

McAfee's been in the cybersecurity game for decades, so we know they mean business when it comes to your online safety. With Project Mockingbird, they're not just keeping up with digital trends — they're getting ahead of the scammers.

Check out Project Mockingbird in action:


What is deepfake?

Deepfake technology is a growing form of AI that allows people to create convincing fake videos and audio recordings, often for malicious reasons. Deepfakes are made using a machine learning algorithm that analyses and changes existing footage or sound recordings to create a new, fake version that can be difficult to tell if real or not.

How do you spot a deepfake?

Key giveaways in deepfake videos are unnatural facial expressions where movements look erratic and distorted, or the subject doesn’t blink. Here are a few more ways to spot a deepfake:

  • Bizarre lip syncing and mouth movements

  • Hair or skin that’s overly smooth

  • Weird lighting or misplaced shadows

  • Glitches or artifacts in the video

  • Irregularities in details like eye colour or skin tone

As this technology gets more advanced though, it’s becoming much harder to spot deepfakes. That’s why specialist tech like McAfee’s Project Mockingbird is the best way to combat them.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity protects devices like our computers and phones from hackers and malicious attacks. In a world where we’re only getting more reliant on tech and the internet, cybersecurity is more important than ever. It makes sure our privacy, data, and networks are kept secure and defended against cyber threats like phishing and malware.

When will McAfee Project Mockingbird be available?

McAfee unveiled their new Deepfake Audio Detection technology at CES 2024 in early January. You can reach out to McAfee for a demo and additional info.

Any more questions?

We’ve got loads more cybersecurity advice to help you protect your data. Check out our tips on how to stay safe online, and find out how to protect against phishing emails.

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