Homebase CEO has been the victim of a sophisticated social media scam. The spoof targets Christmas shoppers and could have damaging effects on the Homebase brand.
This is an example of an impersonation attack, where a cybercriminal has used sophisticated engineering tactics to dupe victims into transferring funds to what they believe to be a trusted retailer. As we can see with this example, these attacks normally use a time-sensitive offer that requires payment as soon as possible. To demonstrate just how prevalent such attacks are, our latest State of Email Security report found 74% respondents reporting impersonation attacks increasing in the last year alone. People must take a moment to think before parting with any money online, as well as checking with official channels if the interaction is legitimate. It is unsurprising to see the CEO impersonated, as from our analysis CEOs are currently the most targeted candidates for impersonation in these ‘project-related’ impersonation attacks and this is likely to remain so. Our research has shown that 36.4 % of IT professionals surveyed in the UK say their organisation’s CEO is the most targeted exec within their organisation.
With holiday season now in full swing, scams targeting shoppers such as this one look set to increase. At Mimecast, our monitoring shows that retail & wholesale has remained the top targeted sector over much of this year, due to the pandemic, and recently, with 1.85 million total malicious detections in October alone. The public must be aware of these attacks and do their due diligence before entering personal information. These scams leverage customers\’ trust in brands which is likely to be damaged after such attacks, so it is important that they do their best to prevent them.
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