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10/22/2010
12:32 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
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Cybercrooks Targeting SMB Accounts, FBI Warns

The best source of SMB funds is SMB bank accounts, obviously, and according to the FBI, those accounts are precisely what the crooks are going after.

The best source of SMB funds is SMB bank accounts, obviously, and according to the FBI, those accounts are precisely what the crooks are going after.An FBI warning of criminal takeover of corporate accounts makes clear that cybercrooks are getting more aggressive about gaining access to SMB accounts, draining them quickly, and moving on.

Their path to the accounts is information-stealing malware, but the path to get that malware into your business may well be you or your boss. While every employee with network offers thieves a potential vector into your data, the FBI notes that many attacks focus on "senior executives or accounting and HR personnel."

The attackers have also been known to go after customer lists, as well contractor, vendor and partner information, further spreading malware and wreaking further potentially catastrophic financial havoc.

Once an account is compromised, the criminals have several paths to draining your resources, including: Electronic funds transfers

Counterfeit checks based on records taken from electronic check archives

Telephone impersonation of the compromised executive

Wire transfers

In addition to strong and thorough security tools and technologies, defensive measures the Bureau recommends include re-emphasizing the need for wariness regarding e-mail and attachments (many of the scam attempts employ attachments that appear to be PDFs or Office files).

Because the thieves often have access to a company's e-mail lists, your wariness needs to extend to familiar e-mail, as well as names you don't recognize, or unexpected (and phony) e-mail from institutions and companies that have no reason to send you anything, much less anything with an attachment or a request for information.

All of this advice -- all of it good -- needs to be presented clearly and firmly to all employees, most definitely including the top executives, managers and supervisors at your company.

That last point is one of the crucial ones here.

Do your efforts to make sure that your employees are educated about basic security matters extend all the way up the organizational chart?

They'd better. Your bank accounts, and ultimately your business, may depend on it.

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