Killer whales occasionally hunt sharks. When they do, it can be ugly. In a recent whaling attack (This is not a nature article. We are referring to the very tricky type of email “spear-phishing” impostor email attack), the poser sent an email to one of the most famous sharks (from the Shark Tank TV show); an email with an invoice for a real estate renovation.
There was no hack of an email account. There were no stolen passwords. This was simply trickery — changing one character of the “from” email address and a few other hidden things in the email format to make the email appear that it was coming from the business owner to an admin asking for an invoice to be paid. The “few other hidden things” in the email make the admin’s reply route to the impostor beginning a friendly email chain. The result, a $400K invoice paid to a bank and then funds quickly disbursed, never to be found.
There are whales in sunny San Diego. A nurse was attacked recently, and lost $800K, her down payment for a real estate purchase.
These are some of the most successful Internet crimes — pure trickery that does not often even involve a hack. And because it is pure trickery, insurance policies often do not cover the loss.
After Tech Essentials first reported on this, RPost added a very unique Anti-Whaling protection service inside RMail for Outlook that silently runs in the background of your email and alerts you (but more importantly, your administrative staff) if they are about to reply or forward one of these impostor emails.
Now, as a business owner or executive reading this email, you are smart, savvy, and might be able to detect this email trickery. But for the sake of your administrative staff (finance, accounting, HR, etc.) and their sanity, we urge you to run this software — it costs nothing to install on your staff computers. Install it and let it run; it may save you money and ease staff anxiety.
When the Shark lost $400K it did not really hurt, as she has a net worth of many tens of millions of dollars. But surely it left a scar on the administrative staff that made the mistake.
RMail includes its Anti-Whaling protection inside RMail for Outlook. RMail also includes automated Wire Fraud Protection with its RMail Gateway security gateway service that uses specialized advanced encryption when a wire transfer is contemplated in an email exchange. The Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud has announced that RPost has joined the Coalition’s battle against mortgage closing scams and real estate wire fraud.
The newest weapon in the battle is RPost’s RMail Anti-Whaling email impostor protection and Wire Fraud Protection Automation with its specialized wire transfer encryption automation in its RMail Gateway service.