The FBI has warned of a scam rising in popularity known as “business email compromise” that has stolen a total of more than $2.3 billion from businesses from October 2013 through February of this year. The Bureau’s Phoenix branch posted on its website that 17,642 businesses across 79 countries had been impacted. Cyber security experts have been warning of attacks through email, and that the success of these types of attacks will probably attract more of the same. “It’s a low-risk, high-reward crime. It’s going to continue to get worse before it gets better,” said Manhattan’s former federal prosecutor Tom Brown.
He further warns that criminals often go to great lengths to convince employees they are receiving a money-transfer email from a company superior, even reading previous emails to mimic the language of that particular individual. Companies that deal with international suppliers and frequent money transfers are the most likely to be targeted. Brown, who is now head of cyber investigations with Berkeley Research Group, also points out that these kinds of attacks are often not immediately apparent and that it can be some time before they are discovered. Because of that he cautions to be particularly careful with email account information and any emails dealing in money transfers.