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FINRA issues warning for Brokerage firms about recent phishing attack

An information notice has been issued by the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) to the brokerage firms about an ongoing phishing email attack. As per FINRA, the phishing attack is currently targeting the member firms through malicious spam emails.

The FINRA is a non-profit organization that regulates the member brokerage firms and exchange markets. US Congress authorized the FINRA to defend investors of America by always making sure that broker-dealer industry functions honestly and equitably.

The warning about this phishing attack comes after numerous brokerage firms received suspicious emails, which looks like as if they have come from a legitimate and authentic credit union entity. The information notice of the FINRA says that: "the email appears to be from a legitimate credit union attempting to notify the firm about potential money laundering involving a purported client of the firm". The information notice also says that this phishing email directed email recipient to open the attached document that most probably contains malware or a malicious virus designed for obtaining unauthorized access to email recipient's computer network.

To be more precise, this phishing emails appear to have come from "purported BSA-AML compliance officer" of an Indiana-based seemingly legitimate credit union. As per the message content, a money transaction has been made to credit union by a client of the brokerage firm which was targeted. The message further state that the transfer has allegedly been put on hold due to the concerns of money laundering.

Moreover, as detailed in the alert of FINRA "the sender attempted to give some legitimacy to the email by including a reference to a provision of the USA Patriot Act that relates to the ability of financial institutions to share information with each other".

Besides, this phishing email comes with lot of other red flags that suggest it is a fraud email, such as many instances of poor sentence structure and grammar, the email address instead of U.S.-based credit union seems to be from the Europe, and also this email request the recipient to open the attachment for having more details.

As a precaution, users are advised to be cautious while opening emails from the unknown senders and also asked to avoid opening the attachments unless the user verify the email sender as well as the information that may be included in that document.

» SPAMfighter News - 3/5/2019

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