22. September 2021 12:15
The BEC (Business Email Compromise) attack is a scam that usually targets corporates that conduct wire transfers to overseas suppliers. They target official email accounts of executives and high-level employees working in administration or finance departments. Such email addresses, involved with conducting wire transfer payments are either spoofed or compromised through keyloggers or phishing attacks. Corporations lose hundreds of thousands of their revenue every year via these fraudulent transfers.
Attackers in the BEC, also known as the Man-in-the-Email scam, rely on social engineering tactics. They trick the employees and executives working in non-tech roles. They usually impersonate employees from the board of directors/management, or executives who are authorized to do wire transfers. Additionally, fraudsters also research and closely monitor their potential target victims, their organizational movements, and likewise.
Security Professionals in any organization usually encounter these 5 types of BEC scams:
- Fraud invoice: Firms with overseas suppliers are targeted wherein attackers impersonate suppliers requesting fund transfers for payments to account(s) owned by fraudsters.
- Executive fraud: Attackers impersonating executives send the email(s) to finance, administration, or procurement department employees requesting them to transfer money to account(s) that the hackers’ control.
- Account compromise: Executive(s) or employees’ email account(s) are hacked to request invoice payments to vendors or clients listed in their email contacts.
- Attorney impersonation: Attackers impersonate any person from the legal team or from any legal firm in charge of important and urgent matters regarding your organization.
- PII theft: PII (Personally Identifiable Information) of employees and tax-related statements in possession of the HR department are harvested to carry out future targeted attacks on potential individual victims.
GreatHorn, a cloud email security provider, released a BEC landscape report in 2021 that is based on information provided by 270 IT and cybersecurity professionals. 30% of them confirmed receiving 50% of malicious links in emails while a similar number of participants from the BFSI sector revealed being a victim of spear-phishing attacks. 35% of organizations disclosed that BEC attacks account for 50%+ of their incidents while a similar percentage of firms encounter spear-phishing emails on a weekly basis. Half of the professionals have dealt with a security incident in the past 12 months where every 1 out of 4 companies received at least 76% of the malware they detected via email. Usually, these email(s) do not contain any malicious links or attachments, hence they easily evade traditional as well as advanced security solutions deployed. BEC attacks are becoming more expensive than ransomware and are usually unbeatable.
How would you protect yourself from getting tricked by these cyber fraudsters?
- Check the source of email including the domain name from where it has been sent.
- Be alert to see anything suspicious regarding payment requests over emails.
- Protect email systems with advanced software capable of tracking spam and filtering out emails.
- Don’t make presumptions over the email, always confirm the wire transfer requests with the sender over a phone call or a video call.
- When in doubt, contact cybersecurity teams in your organizations as you encounter such emails in your inbox.
- By training the employee staff, executives, partners, clients, and customers in end-user security awareness. This can help detect and prevent being a victim of BEC attacks.
For cybersecurity and IT solutions for business, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654