Articles Tagged ‘Cyber thieves’

Cyber Attack Raids $1.2 Million from Small Business

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

In May, Lifestyle Forms & Displays, Inc., a mannequin maker and importer led by 65 year old Lloyd Keilson, had $1.2 million wiped out of its bank accounts in just hours by cyber thieves. The thieves accessed the company’s bank accounts online. This incident inBrooklyn,New Yorkisn’t isolated. Data breaches hit 72% of companies with 100 or less employees. This is up from 62% in 2010 according to Verizon Communications forensic analysis unit.

Trouble began on a Monday afternoon when his company’s controller wasn’t able to make a routine online payment to a foreign vendor. He got error messages during repeated attempts to log into the company’s banking website with a password from a security-ID token. The bank denied any problems on their end, so the company’s three person IT department surmised that the company had been hit with a virus, despite having up-to-date antivirus software. After cleaning up its computers the following morning, it was too late to stop the Cyber thieves that had made off with $1.2 million, wiring the money through nine transactions of about $150,000 each to three majorU.S.banks and one Chinese bank.

Mr. Keilson called in the FBI and the New York Police Department. After about two weeks, he was able to collect a little more than $1 million back, most from banks that had processed the wire transfers. The balance of the money is still unaccounted for. Courts often find banks aren’t liable in cybercrime cases in which business clients’ computer systems were breached, according to a senior security strategists for Trusteer Inc. Furthermore, cyber security experts say small business owners need to do more to protect their firms from high-tech thieves then rely on standard security products. Mr. Keilson now requires that all outbound bank transactions require verbal authorization from a company executive. Plus, he also purchased a $1 million insurance policy at a cost of $13,000 per year to cover any losses from computer fraud.

A closer example is a construction company inColumbus,Indiana. Yahoo requested information from the owner which included passwords to his email accounts. The next day, I received an email from the owner stating he was inSpain, had been beaten up and robbed, and needed $1,850. It asked would I please send him some money so he could get home. He would repay me just as soon as he returned. I called the company and the owner had never been toSpain, hadn’t been beaten up, and didn’t need $1,850. What he soon realized is that the Yahoo request wasn’t from Yahoo at all, but from cyber thieves.

What you can do to protect your business from cyber thieves:
•Pay for protection. Invest in reliable controls for at least one computer and use it to make all financial transactions.
•Use human back up. Require your bank to get verbal authorization for transfers over a specific amount.
•Insure your assets. Hackers are always refining their skills.
•Know whom to call. Make a list of those to contact immediately should a breach occur, such as your bank’s security team.

Dan Lacy
Growth & Profit Coach, Financial Strategist, Cash Flow Doctor, CEO Mentor
phone: 765-644-8887

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