informa
/
Operations
Quick Hits

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. 

 

Recommended Reading:
Editors' Choice
Kirsten Powell, Senior Manager for Security & Risk Management at Adobe
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5