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Naples city of Florida loses $700,000 because of a spear-phishing attack


The Naples city of Florida loses $700,000 because of a spear-phishing attack. The attack has been limited to the vendor relationship between Naples city and the Wright Construction Group (i.e. the company doing work on potable water, underground wastewater as well as storm water utility in Eighth Street South project).


Charles Chapman, the City Manager, has informed that this attack has been an isolated incident. The data systems of the city have not been affected by this attack. A criminal investigation was launched to understand extent of this attack.


Chapman added as reported by Miami Herald that "the City's data systems are safe and secure. This attack was not malware or ransomware, no data breach occurred. The City has and will continue to make improvements to our information technology systems ".


In this attack, the cyber attackers has sent a phishing email to a specific department of the Naples city posing as vendor representative from the Wright Construction Group that informs regarding a change in bank account on Jun. 24, 2019. A city employee transfer funds to this fake bank account, provided by the attacker, on July 11, 2019. The Naples city became aware about this fraudulent bank account on Aug. 1, 2019, after a representative from the Wright Construction Group has asked regarding the money owed by the city.


Chapman said that following a human resources investigation and a criminal investigation, the employee who has transferred funds to fake bank account was given paid administrative leave.


At present, the Naples city has been working with the law enforcement as well as FBI to know more about attacker.


"Everyone in the Naples city Government and every member from the city council take this crime very very seriously ," said Bill Barnett, the Naples Mayor. "No matter how many outside experts tell us how common this is and how difficult this is to prevent, our goal is to make sure this type of crime never happens again in the city of Naples ".


The Naples city became the fourth city, after Key Biscayne, Lake City, and Riveria Beach, in Florida that is being attacked by the hackers in the past two months.


» SPAMfighter News - 8/28/2019

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