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Safe Surfing : CEO fraud in top three cyber attacks

The health crisis has led to an enormous increase in online scams. Among other things, 'CEO fraud' or 'whaling' is on the rise. Beware of urgent requests!

CEO fraud is currently the third most common cyber attack in the world. This fraud consists of impersonating someone in a high-ranking position and is growing in scale, according to the company Euler Hermes.

How does this scam work? First of all, the fraudster will gather information about the company. That way he will find out the name of the big boss or of a director. He then assumes this identity and contacts the accounting department to ask for a quick deposit. He emphasises the urgent and confidential nature of this. This urgent request is then immediately complied with without the addressee of the mail taking the time to ask questions, explains Commissioner Olivier Bogaert of the Federal Computer Crime Unit.

Teleworking strongly encourages this type of fraud. After all, there is less direct contact with colleagues. Moreover, the fraudster increases his chances of achieving his goal by emphasising confidentiality. 

A loss of 14 million euros
A French company lost more than ... 14 million euros! "It is therefore essential to regularly remind employees of the standards to be observed. They must always beware, for example, of requests that emphasise their urgent and confidential nature. In addition, it is best to contact the sender of the e-mail by telephone", advises the Commissioner.

While putting the question directly to the boss is possible in a small or medium-sized enterprise, this is less the case in a company with several hundred employees. It is therefore important for the companies concerned to appoint a contact person. This person will quickly be able to obtain information about the situation described to him. A secure procedure can also be introduced for the completion of payments. For example, through electronic validation by the contact point. He can then verify the authenticity of the request before confirming it.

Source: Federal Police

Video available only in French