Spy used AI-generated profile picture to connect with sources on LinkedIn

The rise of Artificial Intelligence in the field of facial recognition has seen many pairs of eyebrows raised in concern, mostly associated with privacy. But a fresh application has posed new problems to the tech security experts all over the world.

Linkedin, a platform for job seekers and recruiters to interact, recently saw a fake profile photo attracting targets, according to an Associated Press report.

The media company says it has found evidence of what seems to be a would-be spy using an AI-generated profile photo to fool Linkedin contacts. Fake profile going with the name Katie Jones connected with various policy experts in Washington.

Britishers, French and German officials have all issued warnings over the past few years detailing how thousands of people had been contacted by foreign spies over LinkedIn, an AP report said.

William Evanina, director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center, was quoted as saying by the AP, “Instead of dispatching spies to some parking garage in the US to recruit a target, it’s more efficient to sit behind a computer in Shanghai and send out friend requests to 30,000 targets.”

Experts said the photo appeared to have been created using generative adversarial networks, or GANs, that can create realistic-looking faces of entirely imaginary people.

The GAN class of algorithms became popular over the last two years. A website ‘This Person Does Not Exist’ uses a similar approach to create a facial image.

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