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June 7, 2023

FBI Warning the Public of Malicious Actors Manipulating Photos and Videos to Create Explicit Content

The text "Cybersecurity Tip of the Week"

The FBI is warning the public of malicious actors creating synthetic content (commonly referred to as “deepfakes”) by using AI (artificial intelligence) to manipulate benign photographs or videos to target victims. Photos and videos can be altered into explicit content and then used to extort money from individuals, and potentially from employers.

Your social media accounts are targets for malicious actors to gather information that can be used to extort money from you and to create social engineering attacks against your employer.

Action Steps:

  1. Make sure to use long and strong passwords on all social media that are different from any work password, and always opt for multifactor authentication.
  2. Be careful what you and your family post on social media, especially photos of individuals and children. These photos can be stolen by bad actors and manipulated or used for fraud. Once shared, it can be difficult to remove from the internet.
  3. Create “safe” words for your family, since deep fake photos, video and audio can be used to extort money and having a safe word can identify frauds.
  4. At work, always verify the identity of people you are interacting with electronically to prevent being defrauded.

Notify local law enforcement if you or your family fall victim to a deep fake attempt. You can also report to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

See our CTR Cyber page for more cybersecurity internal controls and contact [email protected] with any incidents or suspected incidents of fraud or cyber threats or if you need support from our Statewide Risk Management Team.