A BEC attack happens when a fraudster obtains access to a business email account and replicates the owner's identity to defraud the company, its employees, customers and partners.
Central Bank’s VP of Security and BSA explains how a BEC attack can occur:
The most popular way hackers gain access to company networks and individual PCs is when an employee clicks on an unsafe link within an email message. This simple and, often, automatic reaction can give hackers access to all computer programs and files. It allows them to take control of email settings, read all incoming and outgoing messages and set up folders only accessible to the fraudsters.
After they’re in control, hackers can monitor emails and identify upcoming financial transactions like an invoice to be paid by an ACH or wire transfer payment. Hackers can mimic the appearance of those familiar emails and send a follow-up email to inform the recipient that their banking credentials have changed, “We have a new bank! The new routing number is _ and our new account number is _.”