Hackers enter emails and give orders to transfer millions

The intrusion in emails is growing in Portugal, says PJ. GNR registered increased online loss

In a report in Diario de Noticais the PJ says that the new trend in cyberattacks is “CEO fraud.” It begins like this: a hacker accesses the protocol that identifies the computers of a company (the IP), and soon, to all the mails. The next step to intrude into the system is to send an e-mail by posing as the firm’s chief executive, giving direct orders to other executive positions to transfer thousands or millions of euros to certain accounts, on the pretext of getting a deal done.

Carlos Cabreiro, coordinator of the computer crime section of the Lisbon Judicial Police, told DN that “there are already dozens of cases in Portugal with” CEO fraud “and companies from all areas, injured in large thousands of euros.”

Today, European Secure Internet Day, it’s important to stress that “e-mail scams are taking on increasingly different forms and” CEO fraud “is just one of them.”

Each year, on average, there are more than 1,000 inquiries for computer crimes in the PJ of Lisbon. The most significant have been “crimes related to access to data and credentials of access to bank accounts, phishing, and also sexual extortion, which already reaches 80 cases per year in Lisbon alone.”

Although computer crimes are the sole responsibility of the Judicial Police, the GNR also investigates crimes committed using computers. In its territorial area, the National Republican Guard registered a 22% increase in the crime of desecration by computer, from 83 cases in 2015 to 102 in 2016, as DN Major Paulo Poiares pointed out. Debauchery is a way of humiliating someone by accessing, for example your Facebook profile to put a false message that denigrates the person. It also commits this crime to create or maintain files containing personal data that allow the identification of a particular person regarding political, religious or philosophical beliefs, party or trade union affiliation or privacy in general.

Also, the phenomenon of cyberbullying – or the persecution / humiliation of an adult or teenager through social networks – has been gaining more and more expression. According to Major Paulo Poiares, the GNR registered a total of 3224 complaints for defamation, libel and slander in 2016, most of them through the internet, in what was a rise of 3% of these three crimes that constitute cyberbullying.

The Guard also pointed out an increase in computer fraud in 2016: 3171 scams (291 more than in 2015). Most cases refer to schemes to victimize victims related to online shopping platforms. For example, platforms like OLX have been used by scammers to get easy money. As one police source told the DN, the fraudster places an advertisement for the sale of a mobile phone, the party transfers the money for payment and then never receives the mobile phone. Or the interested party receives at home the last generation camera that he had bought and which, after all, is a simple plastic machine.

The GNR also registered an increase in extortion by computer: 98 cases (22 more than in 2015). “We have noticed here a rise in cases of sexual extortion through the use of intimate photographs or videos to blackmail someone.” As the GNR official notes, what general crime data in 2016 will point out when the Annual Homeland Security Report is released in March, “is a decline in crime of crime but an increase in all Internet-related crime” .

To mark the European Safe Internet Day, Vodafone has released a survey of 5298 teenagers in 10 countries about their online habits. In Portugal, 200 adolescents were surveyed. In conclusion: 54% of Portuguese youth have “many friends” online that they have never met in real life. In this indicator, Portugal and Italy are the ones with the highest value. 37% of Portuguese adolescents know people who have created fake profiles to publish content or photographs on social networks. 70% have admitted that many people act differently online from what they are or do in real life. Positive note: 79% of young people received advice to be positive in social media, the highest percentage in 10 countries.

 


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