This morning I received an email from our CEO, Ilene Rosoff asking me to let her know if I was available to process a wire transfer to a vendor. At first glance, everything about the email appeared to be legitimate. Ilene’s email address and image appeared in the header as it usually does, it addressed me by name and the signature included Ilene’s first and last name without any typos. Fortunately there were a couple of clues that made me realize this was a spoofed email and not really from Ilene.
The first give-away was the tone and subject of the email. Ilene would never send an email like this without including more information and the request was really out of the ordinary for our day to day business. To confirm my suspicions that this was a spoofed email, I looked at the footer my spam filter, Reflexions, applied to the email. Although it was passed into my inbox, Reflexions clearly shows that the sender was not Ilene but was really sent from another email address.
If you don’t have Reflexions or a spam filtering program that appends this information to your emails, you can view the email message headers by opening the email, clicking on the File tab and then clicking on properties. The headers will appear in the Internet headers box and shows that the sender wasn’t Ilene. It was really sent from another email address.
What was interesting about this email was it didn’t contain any links or attachments. We’ve all heard about malware launching when you click on something you shouldn’t in an email from an untrusted source. What was the spoofer hoping to accomplish with this email? I did a little research and found that receiving an email like this isn’t that unusual. The cyber criminals search out company employees who have some access to a company’s finances. They send an email from a C level executive to make the request appear legitimate and if they receive a reply from the recipient, they send the instructions for the wire transfer. It may sound implausible that anyone would fall for this but this particular ploy has been around for years. If they weren’t having any success in stealing businesses’ money with this scam, they wouldn’t keep it up.
To learn how your business can benefit from virtualization, cloud services, and hosted applications, signup for a Free RevITup SilverCloud Assessment. For more information on solutions for running your businesses’ technology more efficiently, visit our website or contact Megan Meisner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813 448-7100 x210.