Home Security Business email compromise on the rise: report

The number and and variety of email fraud, otherwise known as business email compromise, is on the rise, according to a report from security company Proofpoint, which looked at incidents in the third quarter of 2017.

The company did not specify from where it had obtained the statistics for the survey, but presumably the data came from its own clients, among whom are 50% of the Fortune 100.

"Attackers target companies of all size and in all geographies," the report said. "That was still the case in Q3. We found no statistical correlation between the size of a company and how frequently it is targeted by email fraud."

It said all industries were at risk, but organisations with more complex supply chains (such as manufacturing) and those that rely more heavily on software as a service (such as tech) are targeted more often.

Proofpoint provided the following information relating specifically to Australian organisations.

The average number of BEC emails received by an Australian organisation in the quarter was 11.27. Overall the average number of targeted attempts per organisation increased 12% over the previous quarter. And 49% of companies were targeted with more than 10 email fraud messages.

Preferred subject categories in bogus emails in Australia (see graphic below, right) were the same as for the others: Payment, Request, and Urgent.

Sixty-eight percent of Australian targets experienced at least one BEC that spoofed their own domain. This compared to 89% globally.

The fake chain tactic — where an email has what seems to be a continuing thread of messages below the content to give the impression that it is part of an ongoing discussion — was used in 8% of Australian BEC attacks. Globally, this figure was 9.5%.

The report can be downloaded here.


With 4 keynotes + 33 talks + 10 in-depth workshops from world-class speakers, YOW! is your chance to learn more about the latest software trends, practices and technologies and interact with many of the people who created them.

Speakers this year include Anita Sengupta (Rocket Scientist and Sr. VP Engineering at Hyperloop One), Brendan Gregg (Sr. Performance Architect Netflix), Jessica Kerr (Developer, Speaker, Writer and Lead Engineer at Atomist) and Kent Beck (Author Extreme Programming, Test Driven Development).

YOW! 2018 is a great place to network with the best and brightest software developers in Australia. You’ll be amazed by the great ideas (and perhaps great talent) you’ll take back to the office!

Register now for YOW! Conference

· Sydney 29-30 November
· Brisbane 3-4 December
· Melbourne 6-7 December

Register now for YOW! Workshops

· Sydney 27-28 November
· Melbourne 4-5 December



Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


Popular News




Sponsored News