AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - Two things are becoming increasingly popular in the cyber world: deep fake videos and virtual reality. But, as new technologies become more developed and accessible to the public, how can we watch out for cyber threats? FOX54 met with Augusta University to find some answers.

What if all it took to see a new cyber world was putting on something like a headset? Believe it or not, it’s already possible in some ways. That experience is called Augmented Reality.

“When you’re wearing a display, we can overlay virtual information onto the real world. So like, notifications, navigation, these different virtual or simulated elements to assist us with everyday life." said Jason Orlosky, Associate Professor, Augusta University School of Computer & Cyber Sciences.

However, Orlosky feels it may still take more time to develop technologies for Augmented Reality. 

"One challenge with Augmented Reality is this thing called telepresence, the ability to be in someone else's physical space with the purposes of remote teaching, for example, just like you'd be in a Zoom call. It's very difficult to achieve this because you have to send a lot of information about the person on the remote side to the destination side. So, whereas Zoom, you're just sending a video, but with Augmented or Virtual Reality, you're sending a complete set of 3D information to a remote site." said Orlosky. 

Plus, sharing information could also take on a new form through Deep Fakes. The technology uses a face of an image or video of one person to map or transfer that face to another. 

"One of the nice things about Deep Fakes is you can do all the computation on a machine that's local to the remote site. So, someone might have PC in their house, and instead of sending all kinds of 3D information about me to their house as an instructor, they can actually recreate my likeness with just a little bit of data from the school." said Orlosky.

While Deep Fakes have not been around long, Orlosky says they are developing quickly.

“It uses artificial intelligence or neural networks to do that, and very recently, the technology has become so convincing that sometimes you can’t tell the difference between the original video and the faked video.” said Orlosky. 

However, he says anything new can come with other threats.

“The more risky thing, in my view, is real time faking.  Let’s say you have a grandparent, right? All of a sudden that grandparent gets a call from her son or grandson saying hey grandma I just got into a car accident I need you to wire 5,000 dollars. And it looks exactly like her grandson. But there’s a risk it might not be her grandson.”

Plus, the Congressional Research Service says Deep Fakes could pose national security threats in the future. 


When it comes to how we can prevent potential cuber threats like these, Orlosky recommends something he calls the “Three V’s.”

“Verify, verify verify. So if you see a video or see some content if you’re not sure if it’s real or not, first of all verify the source. Second verify is verify the content. So is the content what you’d expect to see from this company or from this individual? And thirdly, verify externally. So, get someone else to check it for you or use a tool to verify whether that video, image or whatever media is legitimate." 

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