What Is Business Email Compromise (BEC)?

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Do you know how your mom always used to tell you not to talk to strangers? Well, she was right. Talking to strangers with malicious intentions is precise what business email compromise (BEC) attacks are about. In a BEC attack, hackers impersonate an employee of the company they're targeting and send out phishing emails that examine if they're coming from someone in the company. This can be done by spoofing an email address or even creating a fake domain name that looks like an official one. These attacks aim to access sensitive information and perform various effective hacking. BEC attacks are also called "man-in-the-email" attacks because they involve impersonating someone else to get information from a third party. So if you see an email asking for your personal information or money—especially from someone you don't know—you should proceed cautiously! Hacking attacks have many forms and can be hard to keep up with. There are phishing scams, ransomware, remote access tools, and more. There's one type of attack we've seen recently: business email compromise. If you're unfamiliar with it, BEC is precisely what it sounds like—hackers spoof an email from your company or an employee and trick someone into sending them money or information. The bogus invoices scheme is one of the most common BEC attacks. That's when attackers request fund transfers and final payments into their accounts. They do this by impersonating executives or leadership at the company to get employees to send them money under pretenses. In addition to executive fraud, attackers can spoof an attorney or some outside party requesting sensitive information—like intellectual property or trade secrets—to use that information for financial gain later. What is the best way to protect yourself against BEC attacks? Keep track of your receipts! If you think something looks off about an invoice, check with your supervisor before sending any money anywhere!

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