In these strange economic times, impostors have identified an overworked company department. With Human Resource (HR) departments handling a new onslaught of employee concerns and issues, staffing changes, and remote work policies, email imposters have inserted themselves stealthily into their world. And, they have struck gold!
It was only a matter of time. Fresh off their latest exploits at trying to phish for sensitive financial account information, scammers have set their sights on people’s actual jobs. With jobless claims now topping 30 million and the unemployment rate headed for new highs, cyber criminals now have fertile ground for a brazen new scam.
The company travel agent, Leah, sometimes gets some really insightful inside information about her client company – sent to her accidentally. Fortunately, she is a trusted outside contractor and politely replies to her client, “I think you did not intend to send this to me.”
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.
Wow! What a beautiful vacation that friend of a friend posted in their Facebook account. It looks like the perfect family vacation; all smiles, all sun, some commentary about the perfect spot…
Harpooning whales is (in most of the world) a thing of the past. This is good for the kind-hearted. But in the cyber world, harpooning “whales” is a thriving and fantastically profitable criminal profession.
Email Prankster Threatens National Security
Why was the newly minted White House communications director, Scaramucci, fired? We don’t know for sure. But an examination of his emails would have shown that he spent the weekend responding to spear phishing emails purported to be sent from Reince Preibus, former White House chief of staff.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has joined a new club along with the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Citigroup. Each has fallen victim to an email prankster who, posing as a colleague or friend, sent email messages to them and tricked them into responding. Luckily no money or data was stolen. These banks spend millions on cybersecurity yet the weakest link is still the human factor.
Cyber pirates have found easy prey in real estate brokers, title agents and estate attorneys. Their emails are a treasure trove of information about pending transactions involving large wire transfers. Real estate buyers, eager to close the deal, blindly trust the email they receive and the advisors with whom they correspond.
What do United Airlines and footballer David Beckham have in common? Disastrous leaked emails. In these recent cases, the leaked emails appear to be legitimate, though Beckham claims some of the leaked emails were “doctored.” But how do we know that leaked email messages discussed in news stories and tabloid columns are actually authentic?