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Ubiquiti Networks Victim of US$39 Million Social Engineering Attack

Brian Honan | Aug. 10, 2015
Ubiquiti Networks Inc., the San Jose based manufactured of networking high-performance networking technology for service providers and enterprises, announced in its fourth quarter fiscal results that it was the victim of an email business fraud incident resulting in the loss of $39.1 million dollars.

The FBI gives the following advice to avoid falling victim to this scam

  • Avoid Free Web-Based E-mail: Establish a company web site domain and use it to establish company e-mail accounts in lieu of free, web-based accounts.
  • Be careful what is posted to social media and company websites, especially job duties/descriptions, hierarchal information, and out of office details.
  • Be suspicious of requests for secrecy or pressure to take action quickly.
  • Consider additional IT and Financial security procedures and 2-step verification processes. For example -Significant Changes: Beware of sudden changes in business practices. For example, if a current business contact suddenly asks to be contacted via their personal e-mail address when all previous official correspondence has been on a company e-mail, the request could be fraudulent. Always verify via other channels that you are still communicating with your legitimate business partner.
  • Out of Band Communication: Establish other communication channels, such as telephone calls, to verify significant transactions. Arrange this second-factor authentication early in the relationship and outside the e-mail environment to avoid interception by a hacker.
  • Digital Signatures: Both entities on either side of transactions should use digital signatures. However, this will not work with web-based e-mail accounts. Additionally, some countries ban or limit the use of encryption.
  • Delete Spam: Immediately delete unsolicited e-mail (spam) from unknown parties. Do NOT open spam e-mail, click on links in the e-mail, or open attachments. These often contain malware that will give subjects access to your computer system.
  • Forward vs. Reply: Do not use the "Reply" option to respond to any business e-mails. Instead, use the "Forward" option and either type in the correct e-mail address or select it from the e-mail address book to ensure the intended recipient's correct e-mail address is used.

Given the impact such an attack can have on a businesses it would be prudent for companies to review their internal financial controls and ensure effective security awareness training is given to staff with key roles in the organisation.

 

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