By Shane Hoeser, Senior Security Analyst
Think you don’t play a role in information security? Think again! As we move further into the Information Age, we must recognize a shared responsibility to protect ourselves and HomeStreet from cyber criminals. There are things you can do every day to reduce the risk of personal/business information compromise by becoming a cybersecurity advocate in your home and in the office.
"Are You Busy? I Need A Quick Favor..."
CEO Fraud, or “Business Email Compromise” as the FBI likes to call it, is a scam in which cybercriminals spoof company email accounts and impersonate executives to try and fool an employee into executing unauthorized wire transfers or divulging confidential information.
Real life example:
Six months ago, Southern Oregon University fell victim to this type of fraud after hackers tricked university employees into transferring money into one of the bad guys-controlled bank accounts. University officials announced that in late April, they wired $1.9 million to what they thought was Andersen Construction, a contractor they had hired to construct a pavilion and student recreation center. However, the construction company reported three days later that they never received their payment.
Here are the most common things to watch out for to avoid falling victim to this type of scam:
- Awkward wordings and misspellings
- Slight alterations of company names such as HomeStreeet instead of HomeStreet or Cissco instead of Cisco
- Spoofed email addresses and URLs that are very close to actual corporate addresses, but only slightly different
- Sudden urgency or time-sensitive issues
- Phrases such as “code to admin expenses,” “urgent wire transfer,” “urgent invoice payment” and “new account information” are often used, according to the FBI
Lock It Up
Remember to lock your computer when you step away. Here’s a quick and easy way to do it using your keyboard:
Also remember to put away any sensitive/confidential documents and lock it up when you leave. If you have a laptop, make sure to secure it or take it home with you when you leave the office.