02:45 PM

The New BEC Phishing Attack: Stealing Data Instead Of Cash

Duped by phishers posing as company executives, Seagate and Snapchat expose employee tax, payroll data.

Perhaps inspired by business email compromise (BEC) phishing campaigns' astonishing success at parting companies from their money, phishermen are using the same tactics to part companies from their data.

In BEC phishing campaigns, attackers posing as business executives send messages to individuals in business departments who handle large payments and convince them to wire transfer huge sums of money to an attacker-controlled account. Now, as tax season (and tax fraud season) is underway, they're asking for employee data, instead of money.

Last week, Snapchat announced that a scammer impersonating their CEO tricked their payroll department into emailing an attacker the payroll information of current and former Snapchat employees. Saturday, it was reported that Alaskan telecom GCI was tricked into handing over employee W-2 forms by a phisher posing as the company's CFO. Sunday, it was reported that a Seagate employee was also fooled into sending thousands of employee W-2's by an email sent to HR and finance personnel by a phisher posing as the company CEO. 

All companies reported the incidents to federal authorities and offered affected individuals credit monitoring. 


Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Ninja
3/11/2016 | 2:57:25 PM
Source and Behavior
Its always important in instances like this to identify the source of the message. Make sure the source information and that individual are 1:1 in the address book. Also, behavioral analysis is key. If this request is outside the norm then it would be prudent to elevate up the chain before actually adhering to the request.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Five Emerging Security Threats - And What You Can Learn From Them
At Black Hat USA, researchers unveiled some nasty vulnerabilities. Is your organization ready?
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
According to industry estimates, about a million new IT security jobs will be created in the next two years but there aren't enough skilled professionals to fill them. On top of that, there isn't necessarily a clear path to a career in security. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts guests Carson Sweet, co-founder and CTO of CloudPassage, which published a shocking study of the security gap in top US undergrad computer science programs, and Rodney Petersen, head of NIST's new National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.