Incident Response, TDR

Report: Majority of BEC scams reported to FBI had funds wired to China and Hong Kong

Eighty-three percent of fraudulent money transfers reported to the FBI as the result of business email compromise (BEC) scams are wired to banks in China and Hong Kong, CNN has reported, following an FBI presentation at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York Tuesday.

James C. Trainor, Jr., assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division, offered up the statistical nugget in a speech detailing BEC schemes, which typically involve spoofing or typosquatting the email addresses of corporate executives, then sending official-looking communications to employees, tricking them into transferring funds or disclosing data.

The report notes that the hackers can operate from anywhere, despite the emphasis on Chinese and Hong Kongese financial institutions. Trainor stated that if victims contact the FBI within 72 hours, the agency can often trace the money and work with the Chinese banks to return stolen funds, provided they weren't withdrawn.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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