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Alaskans Targeted with Spear Phishing Attacks

BBB, looking after commercial activities in Western Washington, Oregon and Alaska, is being cautioned about a new wave of cyber assaults targeting businesses in Alaska, published biscouierherald.com, December 1, 2015.

The assaults mostly are highly targeted "spear phishing" electronic mail campaigns which involve organized criminals making investigations of specific businesses and then attacking them. FBI reports that aggregate losses have been nearly $800m between October 2013 and August 2015. According to an Alaskan cyber-security company, there are an estimated 37,000 enterprises across the country which could've been victimized with the spear phishing assaults.

The spear phishing assaults have phishers targeting businesses through the dispatch of spoofed electronic mails seemingly coming from CEOs asking details like passwords and access codes alternatively endorsing for making payments associated with attached invoices.

An expert on cyber-security in Alaska said the increasingly sophisticated scammers were purchasing URLs having names resembling existing firms for deceiving Internauts (usually employees) into believing they were receiving e-mails from legitimate sources. The resemblance of the domain-names was with legitimate companies' names except for an additional alphabet/character which mightn't be obvious if hurriedly glanced.

Lately in one spear phishing scam, Alaska Regional Manager Michelle Tabler of Better Business Bureau stated that a local company almost gave away unknowingly over $500K due to a fake invoice prior to intercepting the fraud followed with halting the transfer. Adn.com reported this, December 1, 2015.

Tabler elaborated that the company's owner showed him how the invoice appeared and the construction supplies charged was something he would have ordered. The value of the invoice was $600,000 with a down payment of 50% demanded and the company was required for wiring the cash into one China bank.

According to Consultant Matthew Caldwell of the Anchorage Office under Borderhawk a cyber-security consulting company based in Georgia, the mentioned company indicated that plentiful spear-phishing campaigns arose from West Africa. And.com reported this.

Caldwell stated the phishing scam was one fresh twist to the much-known "advance fee" or Nigerian 419 fraud. The scammers had complete organizations arranged for processing the kind of phishing attack, with even abusing names of Chinese banks for laundering the cash stolen.

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