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November 08, 2016

Cyber Heist Costs City of El Paso $3.2M

A successful phishing scheme cost the city of El Paso, Texas about $3.2 million. 

As of right now, the details of the phishing scheme are unknown. The good news is that about $2 million was recovered.

According to Network World, the city of El Paso became aware of the scheme in October after its CFO discovered that a $300,000 vendor payment was redirected to another account. Then, a $2.9 million was sent to a fraudulent vendor.

The city chose to keep the investigation private to protect the integrity of the case.

“It’s an ongoing investigation and we never wanted to jeopardize the ability to regain the taxpayers’ money and also to hamper the ability of law enforcement to be able to do their jobs,” stated El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser. “So, it was very important to us that we did everything possible to keep it from going out public and then ruining the possibility of ever recovering the money and, then again, stopping law enforcement from ever doing their job.”

This case is a reminder that fraudsters are out in full force. And every organization is a target.

So take a moment to scan your organization's website and affiliated social channels. Consider the risks involved with putting personal names and contact information online. Fraudsters can use names and contact information to assume employees’ identities and launch  targeted attacks.

If your organization is not careful, it could wind up like the City of El Paso. And the last thing you want to do is try and recover funds after an expensive phishing attempt.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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