News Bytes – April

Facebook and Google Conned out of $121 Million
Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas has recently admitted conning Facebook and Google into sending him over $100 million. Pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud, Rimasauskas will forfeit $49.7 million.

Working with unknown co-conspirators, the man is said to have assisted a fake email campaign targeting Facebook and Google employees. These emails were disguised to look as though they came from Taiwanese hardware firm Quanta Computer and requested funds from the two firms.

Rimasauskas told the judge that between October 2013 and October 2015, he pretended to be a Quanta employee, created fake bank accounts in Latvia and Cyprus and signed counterfeit documents to support the wire transfers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eun Young Choi explained to the judge that Rimasauskas did not encourage the firms to send any money, and that his only role in the wire transfers was to set up the bank accounts. By his own admission, however, Rimasauskas was aware that his actions constituted fraud.

Phishers Set Their Sights on Amex and Netflix Customers
Earlier this week, Microsoft cybersecurity experts reported that they have spotted two new email-based phishing campaigns targeting Amex and Netflix customers. According to the experts, both of these campaigns are carefully crafted, with convincing logos and even online forms that accurately replicate those on the Amex and Netflix websites.

It is unclear whether these two campaigns were launched by the same group though they were launched at the same time. Microsoft has encouraged extra vigilance in the days and weeks to come.

Both the Amex and Netflix attacks claim that the user has account issues and must take directed steps to resolve them. This is a common tactic with phishing scams.

Such campaigns are becoming more regular and sophisticated. Indeed, Microsoft experts noted a 250% increase in similar attacks last year. According to the firm, more than 20% of us are still convinced by phishing messages and click the redirecting links within them.