Malwarebytes nearly fell for a CEO fraud attempt, its CEO said as he highlighted such scams as a prime emerging cybersecurity threat.
CEO, or "fake president" fraud see crooks attempt to syphon money from a firm's bank account by posing as a senior executive. It was recently flagged as a threat by the FBI.
Malwarebytes founder and CEO Marcin Kleczynski (pictured) told CRN he saw CEO fraud as a key emerging threat – and admitted the anti-malware vendor itself was recently targeted.
"I think the exploitation of vulnerabilities in software is going to be a huge factor in malware delivery," he said, when asked about future cybersecurity threats.
"I also think that these CEO scams are really interesting. My CFO got an email from 'me' that said 'please upload this wire of $52,000'. He uploaded it, but luckily we have a two-step process and it was caught."
"When he pulled up the emails you can see my picture next to the email address. When he then asked for more details about what it was for, 'my' response was ‘'Mark if you don't do this, we are going to have a problem when I get back in the office.'"
"When I got back from my trip he spoke to me about it and I was like, what are you talking about?"
CEO fraud, where criminals use social engineering to assume the identity of a CEO and then use language specific to the company while requesting a wire transfer, has been on the rise in the past few years.
The FBI warned earlier this month that there have been $2.3bn (£1.6bn) reported losses between October 2013 and February 2016.
In January, distributor Arrow revealed it was a victim of CEO fraud, with $13m (£9m) being stolen after criminals impersonated a company executive.
The FBI advises businesses to be wary of email-only wire transfer requests and urgent requests for transfers.
Kleczynski added: "I think it is a really interesting way to get what you want, this social engineering. It's like the world is out to get you."
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany