back to article Ubiquiti stung US$46.7 million in e-mail spoofing fraud

Ubiquiti Networks has been defrauded of more than US$46 million by scammers who spoofed its communications. The heist was revealed in an SEC Form 8-K filing. Apart from the financial information, details are scant. The San Jose company says: “The incident involved employee impersonation and fraudulent requests from an outside …

  1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    so the chief accounting officer shipped 46million USD out on the basis of an email?

    1. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen - he was #1!

      Maybe that's why he 'resigned'

      <EOM>

    2. ZSn

      Common

      Apparently it's a common occurrence -bad tempered boss that travels a lot and normally requests fund transfers is spoofed by a near-enough to accurate email to fool a finance droid to send a transfer. Essentially lax oversight of finance department.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did someone not try a phone call or sms even to verify?

    4. VinceH

      "so the chief accounting officer shipped 46million USD out on the basis of an email?"

      It's better than that - judging by the use of plurals, it was a number of smaller amounts adding up to 46 million USD.

      In other words, the thieves got away with it once, for however much, then thought "Bingo! Let's go for another chunk..." - repeat until $total = 46 million, at which point someone finally thought "Hang on a mo..."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CERT Warning

    CERT's been warning about this for a while: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/06/24/Fraud-Alert-Issued-Business-Email-Compromise-Scam

    Obviously an effective scam.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same here ( but to a lesser degree )

    Yup

    We got stung by exactly the same thing, only AUD$57K though :{

    Traced them down, Lagos, Nigeria, no surprise there, chances of getting money back? snowflake in hell, bank care factor? 0%. Accountant? Chastened but still employed

    419 Baiting? done some, got some more money mule accounts that have been reported.. Police interest? even less than the banks, and, apparently the banks are considered the victim and they have to report it ( even though they are saying "tough titties", you still owe the money (overdraft ) ), Police wont accept reports, not their job apparently...

    Frustration level?? high!

    Anonymous for obvious reasons ;{

    Whaddya mean I cant select an Icon as an AC? I still had to login!!

  4. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "Apparently it's a common occurrence -bad tempered boss that travels a lot and normally requests fund transfers is spoofed by a near-enough to accurate email to fool a finance droid to send a transfer."

    I could see someone scamming out like $100,000 that way, but $46 million? Wow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Accountants handle money

      Money is a concept, they don't handle other concepts like "security" unless that is securities, which is handling insurance for concepts. They also probably know stuff that makes people frightened to fire them.

  5. Small Furry Animal
    FAIL

    "Apart from the financial information, details are scant."

    ... so I'm just guessing here. I'm willing to bet a substantial amount (but not $46 million) that digital signing was not enforced for all financial requests wherever they originated.

  6. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Digital Signatures?

    I wonder whether the exec in question actually had any form of security on his emails, like digital signatures or encryption. I mean it is not like it is dificult to get these days, or was that spoofed too?

    $46million is quite a lot, you'd have thought some sort of internal security on any e-mail instructing minions to move millions would have been mandatory.

  7. Roo
    Devil

    Were all the "No People" fired, leaving poor defenseless "Yes People" to run the company ?

    1. Steve Aubrey
  8. Speltier

    Must be more to it

    You just don't send an email saying: wire 5 mil to Shenzen Acme 419 Inc.

    There must have been some kind of PO or other dunning for money, which was "authenticated" by the spoofed email saying "yes wire Shenzen Acme 419 Inc the 5 mil."

    If the former was the case instead of the latter, I'm not going to buy Ubiquiti products, because a simple spoofed email could order staff to (essentially) embed a stealth rootkit in all their products!

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