A bot network on Telegram is creating deepfake nudes out of social media images submitted by users.
The network was discovered by deepfake detection company, Sensity, which released their findings Tuesday, October 20.
To have a nude created, users submit an image to the deepfake bot on Telegram. The bot then processes the image and sends the image back to the user in a relatively short amount of time, now sans clothing. The user can opt to buy “premium coins” that they can use to remove watermarks and skip the processing queue. A pack of 12 “premium coins” is said to cost $1.50.
The image, according to the findings, is typically someone the user personally knows. Specifically, 63% said they wanted to undress “familiar girls” they know in real life according to a poll surreptitiously conducted by Sensity in the “central hub” of the deepfake bot and deepfake nude image sharing ecosystem.
The original images come from social media or sent via direct messages.
Sensity says the findings go against what they found in their 2019 State of Deepfakes report, where users primarily targeted celebrities.
Images created by the deepfake bots are routinely shared on Telegram networks, some of which, Sensity notes, are pedophilic in nature. The bot network can only process images of women.
The bot network primarily operates in Russia.
The deepfake bot uses an evolved version of a 2019 program called DeepNude. The bot is said to be making the creation of deepfakes easier as it doesn’t require powerful hardware from the user such as a computer graphics processing unit. All the processing is performed by the hardware used by the bot on its end.
Here are other key figures from the report:
- In the original report, approximately 104,852 women have been targeted and had their personal “stripped” images shared publicly as of the end of July 2020. The number of these images grew by 198% in the last 3 months.
- In an update, Sensity said that the number of targeted individuals may be “more than 680,000.” The new figure was released after the publication of the report, after Sensity came across a new website advertising the bot.
- The bot and its affiliated channels have attracted approximately 101,080 members worldwide, with 70% coming from Russia and ex-USSR countries.
- The bot received significant advertising via the Russian social media website VK, which itself features related activity across 380 pages.