Hackers Scam Save The Children Foundation into Paying $1 Million
Image Courtesy of CNN
  • Save the Children Foundation’s US wing was compromised with one of the employee’s email accounts being hacked.
  • Attackers were able to create internal documents and generated fake funding of $1 million for themselves.
  • A possessed insurance was in effect which cuts down the organization’s losses to $112,000.

The US arm of the non-profit organization Save the Children revealed that they suffered a loss of $1 million due to fraudulent activities by hackers. An employee’s account was compromised which allowed hackers the ability to disguise themselves as the compromised staff member.

The hackers created a number of fake invoices and other relevant documents to initiate funding for solar panels and health centers in Pakistan. The entire scam took place in May 2017, and the $1 million funding was approved with the funds being transferred to an entity in Japan.

Chief financial officer of Save the Children Stacy Brandom revealed “We have improved our security measures to help ensure this does not happen again. Fortunately, through insurance, we were ultimately reimbursed for most of the funds.”

Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams are on the rise, and such campaigns usually involve hackers taking over internal email accounts. According to the FBI, between “December 2016 and May 2018, there was a 136 percent increase in BEC scams, reported across 150 countries.” In September 2018, a Nigerian man was arrested for a similar scam and was ordered to pay a fine of $2.5 million and serve five years in jail for his illegal activities.

This is not the first major scam that has taken place. A similar incident was reported by IBM that led to millions of dollars being scammed off of Fortune 500 companies. These types of attacks have become very common over the years, and they are hard to keep track of as well. Hackers that break into MNCs and disguise themselves as employees in high ranking positions without raising any alarms

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