The Troy, Mich., Police Department has confirmed that an investment firm within the city fell victim to a spearfishing attack and transferred almost $500,000 overseas to a bank in Hong Kong. The attack was not noticed until more than a week after it occurred.
Pomeroy Investment is only the latest to fall victim to a spearfishing attack. Two types of spearfishing methods are currently dominating the news: the first involves stealing personal information, namely W-2’s, from the company’s employees, which allows the criminals to file fake tax returns and take them while posing as the victim. The second is the style used in the aforementioned attack, where the perpetrator poses as the employee’s superior and demands a wire transfer of a large sum to a specific bank. A recent Mimecast study reports that a large spike has occurred in both types, and that since January there has been a 67 percent increase in incidents designed to instigate fraudulent payments and a 43 percent uptick in those looking to obtain human resources or tax information.