Hacked Ukrainian TV Station Plays Laughably Bad Volodymyr Zelenskyy Deepfake

Hacked Ukrainian TV Station Plays Laughably Bad Volodymyr Zelenskyy Deepfake

For years, experts have warned that deepfakes may be used as a weapon in a disinformation war. Following this suggestion, the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security warned earlier this month that Putin may use deep fakes to make it appear as though President Zelensky had surrendered. “Imagine Vladimir Zelensky announcing his surrender on television. It’s true because you see it and hear it. However, this is not the case. This is what deep fake technology is all about. This isn’t going to be a genuine video; instead, it’ll be generated using machine learning algorithms “According to the Center’s Facebook post.

“It’s nearly hard to tell the difference between actual and fake videos created with such technology. Be cautious — this is a hoax! His purpose is to confuse people, create fear, cause residents to doubt themselves, and inspire our troops to flee.” On Wednesday, TV channel Ukraine-24 was hacked and a deepfake was broadcast, confirming the warning. Zelensky looked to be surrendering to Russia in the false footage. Even to the untrained eye, the video is plainly a terrible imitation.

The phony Zelensky adds in the video that “It turned out that being president isn’t simple,” he said, before telling soldiers to “lay down guns and return to your homes.” In this fight, it is not worth it to die. To you, my counsel is to live. I’m going to follow suit.” The video was a hoax, according to Ukraine 24 and Zelensky himself.

“Enemy hackers infiltrated the ‘Ukraine 24’ TV channel’s running line and the ‘Today’ website, broadcasting Zelensky’s message regarding suspected ‘capitulation.’ THIS IS A MISTAKE! FRAUDULENT! “According to the TV station, “We have frequently warned you about this, friends. No one is going to give up without a fight. Especially when the Russian army suffers defeats in combat against the Ukrainian army!” The fakeness, on the other hand, was mostly validated by the senses of sight and sound. The fake’s head, for example, is a different size than Zelensky’s and looks to be floating in front of the neck due to some poor shadow or blending work. 

The accent is also incorrect, with some speculating that it has a Russian flavor to it. While this one failed to persuade, there is a risk that stronger impersonations may convince enough people to cause difficulties. Hany Farid, a digital media forensics expert at the University of California, told NPR that there will almost certainly be more. “This is the first one we’ve seen with genuine legs, but I assume it’s only the beginning.”