FBI Hooks a Major Phish
This week, the FBI had a big win when it comes to making a dent in cyber crime. After investigating a crime ring, the FBI, Secret Service, Postal Inspection Services, Homeland Security Investigations, and Treasury Department arrested 74 alleged cyber criminals for taking part in a business email scam. A majority of those arrested came from the United States, while the others were from Nigeria, Canada, Mauritius, and Poland.
The cyber crime ring was targeting various business employees with emails that included malicious attachments and/or links. This is known as a phishing scam. The exact email templates the hackers were using are not being released. It also remains unclear who the victims were. However, while busting the cyber gang, the FBI seized $2.4 million as part of the raids. In addition, another $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers were also recovered.
This bust is a good one. However, to say it puts a dent in the cyber crime market is an overstatement. In 2017, the total costs of cyber crime exceeded $600 billion, with the full expectation that the financial impact will only increase as time progresses.
Avoid Falling Victim
Keeping information and devices secure against cyber threats, such as phishing attacks, is imperative as the dependency on technology continues to increase. PC Matic encourages users to do the following to prevent falling victim:
- Think before you click. If you don’t know what that link or attachment is for — DO NOT open it!
- Check the From: and Reply To: addresses of emails — often times they won’t be someone you’re familiar with
- If you ever question the legitimacy of an email, call the alleged sender with the contact information you already have on file — NOT what is listed in the potentially malicious email
- Implement application whitelisting to prevent malicious files from executing
- Make sure your operating system and third-party applications are all updated timely
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