Cyber-Scammers Steal €50 Million from Austrian Airplane Manufacturer

Cyber-Scammers Steal €50 Million from Austrian Airplane Manufacturer

Cyber-Scammers Steal €50 Million from Austrian Airplane Manufacturer

FACC Operations GmbH, an Austrian company that produces various airplane parts for companies like Airbus and Boeing, has announced a cyber-incident during which cyber-fraudsters managed to steal around €50 million from their bank accounts.

The company published a note about the incident on January 19, saying it was “a victim of a crime act using communication and information technologies.”

FACC did not add anything more, except that the total damages were not yet fully accounted for, but the sum revolved around €50 million / $54 million.

According to local laws, FACC also brought in the Austrian Criminal Investigation Department to help with the investigation.

FACC was the target of a whaling attack

The following day, FACC put out a second statement regarding the incident, explaining it was the victim of “cyber fraud” that targeted its financial accounting department.

The company’s IT infrastructure, data security, IP (Intellectual Property) rights were not involved or targeted in the attack. Production was also never stopped because of the incident, and the company also stated that its economic integrity and assets liquidity were not affected by this incident.

FACC said it would try to recuperate the funds through the investigation and insurance claims.

FACC takes a big dive on the stock market

The company’s Q3 2015 financial results are scheduled to be announced today. If they’re not as stellar as the company hopes, these two incidents may make a big dent in the company’s stock price value, which already took a dive on January 20 after the first statement was released (6.33 -> 5.46).

This incident looks like a classic CEO Fraud incident, also known as whaling attacks and Business Email Compromise (BEC). In these scams, attackers send emails to company employees or CEOs, posing as other employees or partners, asking for urgent money transfers. If staff members don’t double-check big money transfers via telephone calls, fraudsters can trick employees into sending large amounts of cash to accounts under their control.

During 2015, businesses saw a 55% increase in these types of scams. At the end of August 2015, the FBI issued a public statement announcement (PSA) regarding the increase in whaling attacks.

SOURCE