Taking a break from the recent series of articles on Stuxnet for the mind, I thought I would show everyone a different form of threat that is well established in the bigger intel agencies. Image and video manipulation have been a goal for a very long time, the ability to fabricate evidence is a powerful tool in an information war.
The following videos are 'fan made', that is, they are made by some guy sitting at home on his computer. What is interesting here is the both the approach and quality of the end result. Whilst not perfect, it demonstrates the fact that if this is the quality someone can achieve at home, then an advanced supercomputer can produce a flawless output that would be indistinguishable from reality.
The first video is the end result. Its about 5 minutes long:
Very impressive indeed, now let's watch how that was made. This video is about 4 minutes long:
Given the disparity in both computational power and resources, it becomes feasible for a large intel agency to fabricate live streams. Not only that, but it can even be presented in glorious HD quality. Stitching together segments on the fly, it means that we can no longer fully trust video evidence, even if it is live streamed.
This has obvious implications for those performing drone strikes, as it could mean their 'evidence' has been faked, or that the target they just engaged was not what was visible on their screens at the time. Further, the use of remote video as an espionage tool, such as a hidden camera, simply cannot be trusted.
Originally developed with black mail in mind, the system can use information gleaned from various sources to 're-create' actual or fictitious events. Its then a simple matter of leaking the file, or claiming there was a camera present.
In regards to voice synthesis, this too is a process that has long since been resolved with the 3D mapping of vocal cords by remote maser. This is then modelled on computer, reproducing accurately the voice of the target.
Facial recontruction and indeed the entire body motion, physical form, etc., is also captured by the same process. Caturing the persona is demonstrated by the University of Washington:
So beware photographic and video 'evidence', it may not be what it seems anymore.