FBI report: BEC scams resulted in more than $1.7 billion in losses

In its annual Internet crime report released today, the FBI said that the FBI received 467,361 Internet and cybercrime complaints in 2019, and the agency estimates that these complaints have cost more than $ 3.5 billion. The FBI said that almost half of the losses came from BEC (Business Email Compromise), also known as EAC (email account compromise) crimes. BEC/EAC is a complex scam targeted at businesses and individuals who perform wire transfer payments.

Image: FBI

Business email compromise attacks (BEC) are a form of cyber crime which use email fraud to attack commercial, Government and non-profit organizations to achieve a specific outcome which negatively impacts the target organization. Examples of common BEC attacks include invoice scams and spear phishing spoof attacks which are designed to gather data for other criminal activities. Often consumer privacy breaches occur as a results of a BEC attack.

BEC scams are popular because they are very simple to execute and do not require advanced programming skills or sophisticated malware. Among them, the biggest security flaw lies in the strength of the password. Simple or shared passwords can help hackers and others illegally attempt to access your organization’s sensitive, proprietary, and confidential information. According to the FBI, there were only 23,775 BEC victims in 2019, and the victims lost $ 1.77 billion, with an average loss of $ 75,000 per complaint.