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Sextortion Scam: Aaron Smith, The Latest (Most Embarassing) Cybercrime Hacking Technique

Sextortion Scam Aaron SmithWhat we all do behind closed doors, is our business, right? This “Aaron Smith” Sextortion Scam suggests otherwise.

Imagine this (or maybe you don’t have to imagine because if you’re a business owner in the triangle area):

You open your inbox, and some guy named Aaron Smith in broken English says something to the effect of,

“Hey, I hacked into your computer while you were on adult website X, I turned on your webcam and recorded you and your screen, and if you don’t pay me $5000, I’m going to post this video on your Facebook feed and show your aunt Martha, your boss’s wife and everyone else in your world.

I have your information, I know your password is Rover050467.”

Yep. This latest scam/internet con/email phishing attack is called “Sextortion” because it’s whole tactic is based around threatening to share what you do in private to all of your peers. This one’s a doozie to say the least.

If you’re not signed up yet – attending our next webinar Tuesday November 13 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM on Cybersecurity: How To Protect Yourself And Your Business From Data Breaches is an absolute must. 

Let’s dive into this debacle of a threat so you can learn how to protect yourself from this fantastically embarrassing (and clever!) email phishing attack.

 

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Lose A Cool $1.6 Million In One Email: CEO Fraud And How You Can Fight Back

CEO Fraud Email ScamGot A Cool $1.6 Million To Burn? CEO Fraud And The Repercussions To A Business Like Yours

Here’s how you can lose $1.6 million from one email…the timeline goes something like this:

  1. A short and simple email from your boss, asking you to immediately send a large sum of the company’s fund to a new bank account, supposedly given to him personally by the supplier.
  2. You notice a few spelling errors, here and there. But it’s your boss, so you decide to let it go. You’re a little bit suspicious though of a supplier going directly to your boss instead of through you at accounting.
  3. You decide to ignore it for now. You want to confirm with the supplier first. But then you start to worry that your boss might find out that you didn’t believe his email, so you decide against it.
  4. You remember watching a funny TED video about this guy replying to spam, so you decide to check with your IT department first to make sure you’re not giving away money to some Nigerian prince.
  5. But before you could, you receive another email from your boss, asking what’s taking you so long to transfer the funds. You think about how he rarely contacts you. But he’s contacting you now for this particular transaction, so it must be important.
  6. You notice another spelling error. Glaring this time. But the boss – the one who hasn’t sent you an email for the two years you’ve been in the company – has emailed you twice now. Twice.
  7. So with the overwhelming need to impress your boss, you go against all common sense, and you make the transfer.

…And that’s how you lose millions of dollars from a poorly spelled CEO Fraud email.

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Nigerian Prince Alert! CEO Fraud: Phishing Email Scams Targeting CEOs

CEO Fraud Phishing Email ScamPhishing Email Scams Targeting CEOs: You’re Smarter Than A Nigerian Prince, Right?

Before you say you’ll never be one of those people who gets suckered into giving money to a Nigerian prince, just know that, a sophisticated version of this phishing email scam took tech giants, Google and Facebook, for over $100 million.

Yes. Google, a seller of security keys marketed as “the strongest, most phishing-resistant authentication factor for high-value users” and Facebook, a survivor of 600,000 cyber attacks every day, gave money to a Nigerian prince.

In this case, to a 40-something Lithuanian man named Evaldas Rimasauskas, who ran a sophisticated CEO fraud scheme, which involved him impersonating a large computer parts manufacturer using fake email addresses, forged corporates stamps, and phony invoices.

It took two years before anyone even discovered that they were being conned.

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Phishing Email Scams May Cost North Carolina Business Owners Triple Damages

Phishing emails, we’ve been pounding this topic religiously these past few weeks, covering this topic in our Webinar Recap: How To Avoid Falling Victim To An Email Phishing Scam.

If you’re just joining us around this whole Phishing epidemic, and you’re not entirely sure what Phishing means, to quote an earlier article What Your Staff needs To Know About Phishing:   

Phishing is the security industry’s term for trick emails. Someone is wanting to trick you into giving them data, information or access to something they can exploit. Think of them as email con artists.

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Phishing Scams Go Social

With more business being performed online and across social channels, the likelihood of your personal information falling into the hands of cyber criminals, unfortunately, also increases.

Recent reports on cybersecurity confirm that phishing scams alone increased 65% last year and 76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing scam last year.

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Avoid Being Fooled By Phishing Scams This Year

Phishing scams have been making media headlines consistently since 2003. And since then, whether it’s through emails, text messages or phone calls, millions of individuals have been deceived through hacks that appear to come through legitimate sources. The worldwide impact of those phishing scams has reportedly hit more than $5 billion.

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There’s Something Phishy Going On

I have warned about phishers before but you can never stress the need to be cautious. Phishing attempts are becoming more sophisticated and targeted, and with 97% of people unable to identify a phishing email, your business may be at risk.

Our CEO received this phishy email below yesterday – but how did he know it was fake? Let’s take a look at the images below and go over some tips for spotting a phishing email.

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Fake W-2 Requests Nets A Victim

phishing scamWe warned you about this latest phishing tactic using fake W-2 requests before, and not one week later a breach occurred at a hospital.

Business that handle personal data are always extra cautious about data leaks which is why this case is so interesting.

We’ve heard from multiple customers who have received the same request and continue to warn our customers to be on the lookout for these types of phishing attempts.

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Avoid Wire Transfer Scam Emails

phishing scamSeveral customers have reported receiving fraudulent emails of a specific type recently. Please read the following so you can be on the lookout for these types of emails.

Here’s The Deal

The email will appear to come from your CEO/President/someone high up in your company. It will appear to have come from their actual email address and will be a very plain email, no attachments, nothing special, stating that they need to get a wire transfer out to a client or vendor. These emails are usually being sent to someone in the company who is in charge of money; apparently they are doing their research beforehand.

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Email Scam Alert: Shipping Viruses By Mail?

Beware of email shipping scamWe wanted to give you an update on a recent email scam we have been receiving reports of so you can be on the lookout.

While this is an old technique we are seeing a big resurgence of this in the last week or so.  Doing some poking around we found that Cisco Security has detected a major uptick in these types of fraudulent emails since February 13, 2015 (just in time for stressed husbands expecting last minute flower deliveries perhaps?)

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