back to article 'Fake CEO' Chinese chap cuffed in $54m fraud probe

Police in Hong Kong have arrested a Chinese man on charges of laundering the proceeds of an online robbery that netted millions of dollars. In January, Austrian engineering firm FACC – which makes aircraft parts for the likes of Boeing and Airbus – admitted that it had lost up to €50m ($54m) after someone impersonating the CEO …

  1. DNTP

    Effectively unstoppable

    "CEO impersonation" is going to maintain its utility as a criminal technique as long as business culture tolerates CEOs/directors/managers who pull rank to override their own company's security and IT policies (and then fire or demote anyone who tries enforce the policy).

    1. JassMan

      Re: Effectively unstoppable

      The COO of a Corporation I used to work for was made redundant when our Technology division was outsourced. 6 months after he left, I discovered that his email accounts were still open and that he was still on the list of persons allowed to sign off £10M on his single signature. Plebs like myself and colleagues who actually generated all the income had to have 5 other signatures in order to spend more than £100. Either he was incredibly honest or he didn't realise how inefficient the admin systems were on his leaving. The company was either very lucky or if he wasn't honest, he was good at hiding his tracks.

    2. Mark 85

      Re: Effectively unstoppable

      I think FACC took effective action and would hope others follow suit. Firing the CEO and the CFO for allowing one person to control payments is the logical result. Down in the trenches, it takes an Act of God for the troops to spend money on hardware or software, but upper manglement has no oversight. If other companies started doing this (firing) perhaps the rest of the business world would take note and follow along. It might even set some industry standards....

      But.... we also know that upper manglement always feels that they can do no wrong and having the ability to shift funds is their providence and a sign that they are the top dog.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Effectively unstoppable

      We got one of those about a year ago, from a domain name with a slightly different spelling of our company name. It failed partly because the member of accounts staff the email was sent to didn't have access to the company bank account, and knew that the finance director would not ask her to make payments.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What did the CEO exclaim when he noticed?

    What the FACC, man!

    (Yes, yes, I'm leaving now)

  3. Adam 1

    >fter someone impersonating the CEO in an email had authorized the transfer of funds. The CEO and CFO have since been fired.

    So they fired the fake CEO? Or was it the fake investigation team that reported back to the fake board that caused the fake HR to sign the no doubt golden parachute cheque*? OK Neo, the blue pill....

    *Just because you can't spell authorised doesn't mean I have to misspell cheque.

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