Spooky Tales of Cyber Crime: Proof Cyber Attacks are Living Nightmares

Published on October 13, 2021

Many people consider the month of October "spooky season" due to its most beloved holiday: Halloween. Did you know, however, that October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month? Some might call this a coincidence. We believe it to be perfect timing. 

After all, cybersecurity is indeed about protecting your business from terrifying and ghoulish cyber crimes. There are plenty of real-world examples of these as well. Our own employees here at Centre Technologies have witnessed situations in which businesses endured horrific consequences (or barely avoided them) because of a lack of cyber security. After reading these tales of cybercrime, you'll want to keep an eye out because cyberattacks are real-life nightmares.

 

The Phantom Emailer

 

 

Some of the most chilling cyberattacks are the ones that don’t raise a hint of suspicion at all. One International Oil and Bulk Chemicals Shipping company got to experience this first-hand. Not only did it almost cost them $3 million in loss, but it all started with a single phone call from a particularly annoyed customer.

This customer had been receiving email notices for payment from an Accounting and Financial/procurement specialist at the company... at least, that’s what it looked like initially. These emails were getting increasingly aggressive in tone as they continued to demand payment. Finally, this customer had enough and decided to pick up the phone to call the company about the payment demands.

Now on the phone with the Accounting and Financial procurement specialist responsible for these emails, the two came to a shocking realization: none of the emails that the customer was referring to came from the Accounting and Financial procurement specialist.

REVEALING THE PHANTOM

Further investigation into the matter revealed that the emails being sent out were, in fact, evidence of an active phishing scam.

The mystery attackers on the other end of the screen phished the Accounting and Financial procurement specialist’s email account, using it to exfiltrate invoice records and gather information about transactions.

These attackers were not only actively gathering sensitive employee and customer information, but they were also emailing fraudulent notices for payment to hundreds of customers on many sites throughout the world.

Thanks to the annoyed customer, the company started implementing security controls into its IT infrastructure.

BEWARE OF THE PHANTOM EMAILER

To this day, this company takes extra precautions when it comes to what emails they open, what links they click, and what passwords they use.

If one doesn’t implement cyber security into their IT infrastructure, they too could be the next victim of the Phantom Emailer. 

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About the Author

Cybersecurity and Compliance Cybersecurity and Compliance

Organizations entrust Centre with protecting their technology ecosystem and strengthening their security posture. Centre’s cybersecurity and compliance solutions delivers layered IT security to protect businesses’ employees, customers, and content from known and unknown threats. Through employee awareness training, detailed security assessments, and 24x7 threat containment, Centre is a trusted partner for businesses seeking comprehensive network and data protection. Learn more about Cybersecurity and Compliance »

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