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FBI: Bank Losses From BEC Attacks Top $43B

Law enforcement attributes a recent 65% spike in BEC attack losses to COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing reality of a remote workforce.

Between June 2016 and December 2021, the total losses reported by global financial institutions as a result of business email compromise (BEC) attacks clocked in at more than $43 billion.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice have issued a joint announcement underlining the damage BEC attacks have done to both small businesses and large corporations alike around the world. The agencies also warned that reported losses have spiked in recent months: Between July 2019 and December 2021, worldwide losses to BEC attacks increased by 65%, the agencies noted. 

"This increase can be partly attributed to the restrictions placed on normal business practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused more workplaces and individuals to conduct routine business virtually," according to the public service announcement. 

Another notable BEC shift that law enforcement noted is an increase in the use of cryptocurrency in BEC cybercrime. Those losses alone totaled more than $40 million in losses by 2021, which the statement added is expected to continue to escalate.