How hackers use email phishing scams to steal billions – Tampa, Florida | #phishing | #scams

Lake Mary, Florida — The first investigation accurately explores how cybercriminals use email phishing attacks to steal billions. The investigation contains surprising new information about the tactics used by criminals, the speed of attacks, and how compromised emails are used to commit fraud.

Cybercrime is becoming more and more of a concern in the United States and has become one of President Biden’s top priorities. A recent ransomware attack has closed the colonial pipeline, lengthening the gas line and raising prices.

A few days later, another attack Targeting JBS, the largest meat supplier in Japan..

Last week, I learned that there are 200 US companies affected by the ransomware attack that began when a hacker attacked a Florida-based IT company.

Meanwhile, federal agents are still assessing damage from SolarWinds hack, Discovered last December.

Experts explain that the city of Tampa is listed as one of the 18,000 entities whose computer networks may be at risk, making it the largest cyber intrusion in the country to date.

However The FBI said, “Business email infringement., ”Or BEC attacks result in the greatest loss in terms of cybercrime.

“In 2020 alone, the BEC attack lost $ 1.8 billion,” said Crane Hassold.

Half of the accounts accessed within 12 hours and 91% accessed within a week

Hassold recently oversaw an investigation by an internet security company Agari..

The company created a fake email account and used it to sign on to known phishing sites. Most of these sites seem to be legitimate business pages for companies like Dropbox, DocuSign, and Microsoft 365.

“In about six months, we were able to identify over 8,000 of these phishing sites and seed them with credentials,” says Hassold.

Next, we observed how quickly the account was compromised.

Half were accessed within 12 hours and 91% were accessed within a week.

“I saw attackers from 44 countries around the world,” says Hassold. “We already know that these attacks have cost us a lot of money. It’s not clear what the behavior will look like or what the attacker’s behavior will look like behind the scenes.”

“It was a savings in my life.”

Some accounts were used as hosts to send other phishing emails.

“We were able to see one actor trying to send 12,000 phishing emails to US real estate and title companies after their accounts were compromised,” said Hassold.

They were intended for fraudsters to target the emails of people involved in real estate transactions and commit wire fraud.

“I didn’t know until now. No one even warned me about it,” said 25-year-old Curly Andreatos.

Curly Andreatos and her husband Joseph were in the process of buying their first home in late April and received wiring instructions in an email that appeared to come from a paralegal supporting the deal, which was a scam. was.

She and her husband, Joseph, were in the process of buying their first home in late April and received wiring instructions in an email that appeared to come from a paralegal supporting the deal.

Andreatos was unaware of the grammatical error in the email.

Curly Andreatos

Emails from phishing scams contain syntax errors that go unnoticed until the wire transfer is initiated.

The law firm’s office phone number had a different area code than the law firm’s location.

Still, Curly sent a $ 22,893 down payment to the account number in the email.

“It was a savings in my life,” she said.

When she called to confirm that the deal was completed, she learned that it went to the wrong account.

“They’re like, no, no, it’s not our account number, so I immediately hung up with them, called the bank and recalled,” Curly said.

She warned authorities before the money left the country.

She couldn’t close her home because her account was frozen, but she was told she could get her money back.

FBI: $ 115 Million Loss from Florida Victims

Others are not so lucky.

The FBI reported 1,381 victims of business email breaches in Florida last year, losing more than $ 115 million.

Many were small business owners and their email accounts were hacked.

The criminal then invoiced the customer, who wired the payment to the bad guy’s account.

“They actually request payments that should be paid. They create very realistic emails,” Hassold said.

Hassold says business email breaches are working and are increasing.

“They all utilize the very same types of human emotions … fear, anxiety, doubt, rewards,” he said.

Curly wants to check the email carefully before sending money and hopes that others can learn from her mistakes.

“The next time you buy a house, you’ll need four times as many checks,” she said.

Internet Crime Complaint Center There is information on how to recognize and report cybercrime and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

If you have a story that I-Team might need to investigate, please email us at:

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