Cybersecurity » Hackers Target Law Firm, Then Rip Off A Real Estate Deal

Hackers Target Law Firm, Then Rip Off A Real Estate Deal

May 8, 2017

Cyber thieves were able to forward bogus wiring instructions on a law firm’s letterhead to a couple buying a house, who then responded by sending $180,0,000 to the thieves. This story, however, has “a fairly happy ending,” says internet security writer Brian Krebs. It took the couple four difficult months, during which they lost the chance to get the house they wanted, but they did get their money back. Other victims of similar schemes have not fared as well. The modus operandi in these cases resembles so-called CEO fraud schemes, where an employee, typically a person with some authority in finance, gets an email that looks like it came from a higher-up in the company. Acting on the order in the email, the employee then transfers money to the con artist. According to an FBI estimate last year, nearly $3.1 billion has been stolen from more than 22,000 victims by such schemes. Krebs recommends two procedures that will virtually insure you don’t fall into this trap. One is relatively low tech: Confirm all wiring instructions, in person if possible, or else over the phone. The other may be beyond the reach of many civilians. It involves using a system like Linnux and what’s called “a live CD approach.” Regarding the first, a comment on this post offers an interesting amendment: When you make your confirming phone call, call a number that was given to you previously, and not the phone number that’s on the email.

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