Petaling Jaya, 28th September 2023 - Easy access to an individual’s data, including images online allows scammers to more easily create ultra-realistic, manipulated, or fake photos, says Associate Professor Dr. Selvakumar Manickam.

The Universiti Sains Malaysia cybersecurity expert said, excessive sharing on social media and the frequent use of photo editing apps create opportunities for criminals to misuse them for harmful purposes.

“Coupled with the wide availability of artificial intelligence (AI) at present, the issue of image doctoring is more challenging.

“AI increases the efficiency of creating and distributing deceptive images by criminals.
“AI-powered Deepfake technology generates highly convincing fabricated videos and images, perpetuating falsehoods and impersonations,” he told The Star yesterday.

He said AI’s capacity to swap faces in visuals also helped facilitate revenge pornography, identity theft, privacy breaches, and the dissemination of false information.

Nonetheless, he emphasised that image manipulation existed long before AI became widely available and anyone with average image editing skills could easily create convincing fake images.

He also said online tutorials were readily available to help individuals acquire such skills.
“People engage in this practice for various reasons, including deceiving others, improving photo aesthetics, or producing fake images for harmful purposes.

“Besides fabricating naked images of individuals, it can also be exploited for malicious activities like political manipulation and fraud.

“Image alteration, or image doctoring, involves changing photos to make them appear different or misleading.

“These changes can be as minor as removing a blemish or as significant as creating dishonest portrayals,” Dr. Selvakumar said.

Read further on The Star’s article attached.

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