As banks worldwide roll out Voice ID as a means of user authentication over the phone, questions are being raised about just how secure it is. With freely available artificial intelligence (AI) now capable of replicating people’s voices, could it be a security risk? Recent research suggests that it could.
To test this theory, Vice reporter Joseph Cox used five minutes of recorded speech and a site that can learn to synthesize the voice in the recording. The banking website initially refused to verify Cox’s synthesized voice as genuine, but with a few tweaks, it soon allowed him into his account. From there, he had access to account information, recent transactions, transfers, and balances.
While the bank used in the test claims that criminals would rather use other more common methods of attack than AI voice recordings, the reality is that the widespread availability of AI tools like ChatGPT means that biometric authentication is no longer foolproof. Unlike passwords, which are either right or wrong, all forms of biometric authentication are analog, relying on a judgment of similarity, which creates opportunities for enterprising criminals who can produce realistic facsimiles.
As AI technology continues to advance, it is essential to pay close attention to the rapidly improving area of voice synthesis if you’re deploying voice recognition as part of your business. Don’t let the words “My voice is my password” come back to haunt you in the worst way imaginable.
We’ll leave it there, for now.
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