Hackers are getting more creative around the world. It only takes a split second for a hacker to infiltrate a server, a computer, or even a person’s personal information. The growing trend around the globe is hackers are bypassing traditional technology pathways of phishing and are headed to employees, untrained in the manipulative ways of hacking. Recently in the United States, an investing firm was a victim of spearphishing. The investing firm, located in Michigan, filed a report stating that an employee of theirs had accidently transferred approximately $500,000 into a Hong Kong bank. The employee had been emailed by someone posing as a company executive that asked for the money to be transferred. This staffer had found the email to be seemingly legitimate and fulfilled the request of transferring the money to an overseas account in a Hong Kong bank.
This isn’t the first or last time a company has been a victim of a security breach. With tax season having just come to a finish in the states, many hackers are seizing the opportunity. Tax forms hold sensitive and crucial information, especially W-2 forms. These forms hold personal data such as addresses, incomes, places of employment, social security numbers, and family information. Cybercriminals are able to use this information to falsify tax returns on their own behalves and harvest this information for later use.
Other scams are similar to the ones faced by larger companies, where the cybercriminal will simply go after employees and staffers. Posing as a company executive or a person’s manager, the hackers talk employees into transferring millions of dollars. Studies show there is a 67% increase in attacks across the world and 43% increase in fraudulent tax schemes occurring.
Cybercriminals are using sophisticated methods in order to sense out what kinds of attacks would be the most beneficial for them and the most damaging for corporations and every day citizens. Using intelligent software, a hacker is able to sense what weak points they can exploit and use this information to benefit themselves greatly. Whether it is a few bitcoins or millions of dollars, cybercriminals will do anything to gain the edge.