First AI Robocall Scammer Named by FCC: Capitol Tech Faculty Gives Expert Opinion to Fox News

Seeking expert opinions, Fox News reached out to Capitol Technology University adjunct professor, Dr Ilia Kolochenko, for his perspective on the worrying rise in cybercrime and the evolving usage of AI. 

Dr. Kolochenko is the Chief Architect & CEO of ImmuniWeb, a global application security company located in Geneva, Switzerland. His expertise spans cybersecurity, cyber and criminal law, and privacy, and he has authored over 50 articles on application security and cybercrime investigation for leading cybersecurity publications. With Capitol Tech, he is the dissertation chair for cybersecurity & cyber law topics and performs examinations of work at the doctoral level. 

On June 15, Fox News announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) named its first-ever AI robocall scammer in a threat alert, bringing awareness to the potential increased use of artificial intelligence in fraudulent activities.  

The alert warns of AI-driven scams, which utilize advanced technology to impersonate legitimate entities through convincing voice simulations and deceptive robocalls. The scammer group, “Royal Tiger,” includes individuals from around the world including the U.S., and their leader goes by the alias “Frank Murphy.” They are “known to use sophisticated techniques in their cyber scams, such as AI voice cloning, to impersonate staff from government agencies, banks and utilities, known as ‘robocall’ scams.” Fox News notes how convincing these calls can be, especially when using AI technology. “With phone spoofing techniques, it's possible to make your caller ID actually show a call from these agencies, too, to make it look more legitimate.” 

Fox News spoke with Dr. Kolochenko for his expert opinion on the subject. “In 2024, we will probably see a surge of computer-enabled fraud and crimes — which should, however, be distinguished from pure cybercrime — propelled by the ballooning misuse of freely available Generative AI (GenAI) tools and online services,” Kolochenko stated. “When combined with well-thought-out social engineering campaigns, GenAI can cause unprecedented financial damage in mass-scale phishing or fraud campaigns. For instance, elderly people and other socially vulnerable groups may be perfidiously tricked into paying ‘fines’ for speeding or petty offences that they have never committed.” 

Dr. Kolochenko recently hosted a webinar for Capitol Technology University’s Cap Tech Talks online informational series regarding Cyber Law and Cyber Crime Investigation. As a relatively new area in the legal field, cyber law “covers laws, statutes, and regulations that deal with the Internet and digital security. The laws extend to all devices used to access the Internet, such as cell phones, email, websites, data storage, software, and hardware,” and “regulate the communications, privacy, freedom of expression, and intellectual property of internet users.” During the webinar, he gave an introduction to the subject and offered his insights and experiences in the field. 

By issuing this alert and creating heightened awareness about cybercrime, the FCC highlights the need for enhanced vigilance and more robust cybersecurity measures amongst business and consumers to combat these sophisticated, evolving threats. The FCC has also labeled the Royal Tiger group as a Consumer Communications Information Services Threat (C-CIST) and has required phone providers to help protect the public by blocking any suspected communications from this group. Public education on cybersecurity methods and how to protect oneself against online threats is key to helping prevent cybercrime. 

About Capitol Technology University

Capitol Technology University is a leading STEM institution with a longstanding history in technology and cybersecurity education. Capitol Tech is the first university in Maryland to launch a Bachelor of Science in AI, and was featured in Forbes as one of America's Top Colleges. Recently, Capitol Tech established a new AI Center of Excellence (AICE) to help foster the advancement of ethical AI usage and a dynamic ecosystem that empowers students, faculty, and industry partners to explore, innovate, and apply cutting-edge AI technologies for societal impact. 

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