Several French companies involved in a presidential cyber scam

A survey conducted by Le Monde shows how our companies are at the forefront of cybercrime. Several dozen French companies have been attacked by a classic “presidential fraud” type of cyber fraud.

A perfectly established cyber scam

Several French companies received the same email this summer. The hackers pose as the Treasury. With this cyber scam everything was perfect, no misspellings, the correct logos, the tri-color ribbon, the tone used … in short, enough to be fooled. The hackers behind this fraud are asking for information “as part of an investigation into the Stability and Growth Pact with the European Commission”. The fake tax advisor asks the company to send all available details about its three main clients, including unpaid bills.

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At this point, the target companies could have determined that it was indeed a cyber fraud. The tax authorities have no reason to require these types of documents from a French company. Another point that could have aroused the suspicion of the victims: the entered e-mail address, which ends with “.cloud”. But the pirates planned their strike perfectly. They threaten the affected companies with a tax penalty if they refuse to cooperate. Logically, the employee who is responsible for answering this email did so in most cases to avoid possible penalties.

At least 70 victims from French companies

He wouldn’t have … In fact, the companies that responded to the hackers’ requests provided valuable information not to the tax authorities but to top cyber criminals. The hackers were able to write to the target company’s customers asking them to pay their bills to a new bank account opened with the Italian bank Banco BPM. Apparently, this account was held by the hackers behind the attack. Among the victims is a boiler maker from Bourgoin-Jallieu who works with Framatome, the Atomic Energy Commission, Air Liquide and Michelin.

A scam that was quickly spotted by Trend Micro, a cybersecurity company. The companies affected by the attack were notified in good time and were able to repel the attack. More than 70 French companies were affected. With the effects contained, it is clear to con that vigilance is imperative.

According to Trend Micro, the scope of the operation is likely to be much larger. Perhaps most worrying of all is the fact that this type of cyber fraud does not require “high tech”. This is an old ruse that experts are particularly familiar with. The FBI estimates that $ 26 billion has been misappropriated worldwide since 2013. To solve this problem, Gmail recently introduced a new feature to protect its customers from phishing.

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