Oregon CEOs targeted by email scammers

Digital criminals use email addresses resembling those of CEOs to commit wire fraud.

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Digital criminals are using email addresses resembling those of CEOs to commit wire fraud against Oregon companies.

Provenance Hotels Chief Executive Gordon Sondland and Salem-based Steelhead Metal & Fab were both targeted, according to OregonLive.com.

Between October 2013 and December 2014, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 1,198 complaints about similar business wire frauds from victims nationwide reporting $179 million in total losses.

As with many companies, both Provenance and Steelhead conveniently list their executives online, complete with titles, phone numbers and email addresses. The scammers appeared to take advantage of the listings, mimicking the CEOs’ email addresses with ever so slight changes: an “l” was stuck between Provenance and Hotel in Sondland’s, while the Steelhead president’s address ended with “.co” instead of the correct “com.”

Ellen Klum, director of consumer outreach for the Oregon Attorney General, called the attacks “totally gutsy” and SAID new networking technology — like LinkedIn — makes attacks easier to launch than in the past.

RELATED NEWS: The Good Hacker

Data breaches are increasing in the health care sector, according to a new study.

From the Portland Business Journal:

Criminal attacks have risen 125 percent since 2010, exposing millions of patients and their medical records, the study conducted by Ponemon Institute found. The study also found most health care organizations are unprepared to address the rapidly changing cyber threat environment and lack sufficient resources and processes to protect patient data.

Criminals target information-rich health care data because they can access personal information, credit information and protected health information in one place. This valuable information can then be sold. Medical files, as well as billing and insurance records, are the top stolen targets. All sorts of health care organizations are vulnerable, including hospitals, clinics, public and private health care providers, health plans, patient billing, claims processing and cloud services.

In a statement, ID Experts co-founder Rick Kam, said: “A breach is a breach, no matter how small. Whether 5 million, 5,000 or 50 individuals are affected, the impact to each and every person is a big deal. How many more individuals could be at risk due to unreported data breaches?”