One of the latest scams by email it’s a simple but masterful ploy that makes companies give up money under the guise of communicating with senior members of an organization within a chain mail.
As reported by ZDNet, the scam is called a Business Email Compromise (BEC) campaign and is described as a message in which a nefarious actor, disguised as a company boss, sends an email that looks like a forwarded chain email, with instructions to an employee to send money. The targets of this type of scam are usually finance department employees or someone who has the ability to send wire transfers.
TechRadar he noted that the email chains are fake, but appear authentic enough that victims typically don’t question that they’re not from a higher-up employee.
Many people have become accustomed to more traditional email attacks, such as viruses, malware, or malicious links, which can often be avoided by not clicking links, opening emails, or downloading attachments. However, BEC campaigns are usually just text emails and don’t have these markers that make them stand out as coming from a nefarious entity. They are also not automatically filtered as spam.
While there are still more common types of email attacks, such as ransomware, BEC campaigns are an ever-growing threat. According to the FBI, BEC attack incidents grew by almost two-thirds (65%) between July 2019 and December 2021, and the practice itself has grossed an estimated $43 billion. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the scope of the BEC scam is comparable to the global tuna industry and the global used clothing industry.
AI-based cloud-native email security platform Abnormal Security believes that the latest BEC scam originated in Turkey from a bad actor known as Cobalt Terrapin, with the first attacks beginning in July 2022.
Scams like BEC are not the only way that bad actors are bypassing the usual methods of cybercrime. “Cookie stealing” has also become one of the latest trends hackers use to bypass credentials and access private databases.
One such attack involved a government-backed group known as Charming Kitten who were able to infiltrate the Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook inboxes of at least two dozen high-profile users and download their content, using similar theft tactics. of cookies. The group developed a hacking tool called Hyperscape, which it used to bypass security measures such as multi-factor authentication to access private email databases.