What Cybercriminals are Doing with Your Live Stream?

14 December 2022

Regular posting to social media has become common to each one of us. For ordinary people, social media posts become a way to share achievements and random thoughts. For entrepreneurs, social media posts are a tool to make more money.

Social media posts include photos, videos, articles, infographics, and one of the most popular today which is live stream.

What is Live Stream?

Live stream is a live transmission of a video and audio of an event over the internet. Live streaming lets you watch any kind of event in real time, just like a live television show. Today, everything can be streamed such as TV shows, video games, or just a random social media video.

It is easy to create your own live stream. All you need is your preferred gadget, internet connection, and a platform such as a website or app. The most used live streaming platforms nowadays are Facebook Live, Instagram Live Stories, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch TV.

Live streaming is most used by social media influencers in partnership with businesses to promote their product or service.  

Unfortunately, by doing live streams (especially if it is high resolution), people unintentionally expose sensitive biometric patterns such as voice and face.

How Can Cybercriminals Use Your Live Stream?

Cybercriminals find it easier to use your high-quality live streams to collect biometric patterns for verification as well as identification. They can use it now or in future cyber attacks.

These attackers can use your biometric patterns to:

Impersonate you on social media

Cybercriminals have many ways, such as taking a screenshot or screen record, to turn your live streams into professional photos and videos of you. These bad actors can create a fake social media account and use the fake photos and videos of yours to impersonate you. They might fool your family, friends, and social media followers into believing it is you. Once they believe it was you, the bad actors can request to lend some money or bank account details.  

Create a deepfake persona by using your face and voice pattern

A high-quality live stream can reveal your face, ear shape, voice, fingerprints, iris, and even the way you move. These are the things that cybercriminals stole from your live streams. They can edit and compile your videos and create a deepfake from it.

Deepfakes are images, videos, or audios of a person whose face or body is digitally altered so that they look or sound like someone else. They can create a video using your deepfake and use it for malicious purposes. 

Take over of a facial recognition/voice-authenticated account 

Biometrics can be copied, which causes security issues. It may be possible to ‘spoof’ a facial recognition system (masquerade as a victim) by using images or 3D masks created from your live stream.

See how facial recognition could be tricked with 3D printed head:

Like a facial recognition system, your voice-authenticated account can be tricked. According to Infosec, a group of researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have recently demonstrated that any automated user authentication system that uses voice recognition technologies is vulnerable to voice impersonation attacks. The researchers managed to penetrate automated and human verification systems by taking a sample of the user’s voice and using it to gain unauthorized access to a device.

Your voice from your live stream can also be used in making spam calls and hacking cloud servers where audio data is stored.

What Can You Do About It?

  • Limit the use of biometric information on social media.
  • Decrease the resolution of your posts
  • Edit or add filters 
  • For authentication, use less exposed biometrics.
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication. Do not rely on biometrics.

Like live streams, your high-quality photos, videos, and audios you post on your social media can be used by cybercriminals for their attacks. If you are careless with using social media, you make it easier for cybercriminals to gather information about you.

Do not be an open book. Do not share every detail of your life with hundreds or thousands of strangers. Attackers can see whatever they need and use it as their advantage.

You are unintentionally giving your information for free, but you may end up paying for it.

For more cybersecurity tips, visit our blogs.

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