Cyber Thieves Steal $447,000 From Wrecking Firm
Brian Krebs writes on Security Fix:
Organized cyber thieves are increasingly looting businesses in heists that can net hundreds of thousands of dollars. Security vendors and pundits may be quick to suggest a new layer of technology to thwart such crimes, but in a great many cases, the virtual robbers are foiled because an alert observer spotted something amiss early on and raised a red flag.
In mid-July, computer crooks stole $447,000 from Ferma Corp., a Santa Maria, Calif.-based demolition company, by initiating a large batch of transfers from Ferma's online bank account to 39 "money mules," willing or unwitting accomplices who typically are ensnared via job search Web sites into bogus work-at-home schemes.
Ferma President Roy Ferrari said he learned of the fraud not from his bank but from a financial institution at which several of the mules had recently opened accounts. Ferma employees worked extensively with that bank and several others to reverse the fraudulent transfers before the mules could withdraw the funds, and Ferrari said they were able to block at least $232,000 worth of bogus transfers.
But Ferrari says his bank is withholding at least $50,000 in additional funds it recovered on its own, until he agrees to sign a document saying he won't sue the bank for for the remaining losses.