Small Business Reading Room

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Corporate espionage 2007

The spies are getting smarter.

An AP article reports on a new and fairly low-tech e-mail scheme that could begin to create a high-class problem for significant numbers companies. The e-mail attackers appear to be after corporate secrets and have sought to infiltrate the computers of chief executives, chief financial officers, chief technology officers, and other senior managers.

This sounds like old news, right? After all, everyone no living under a rock knows about phishing scams these days. But this is a new and sophisticated take on an old-style attack with troubling implications for corporations.

What sets this new wave apart is that messages come addressed to the right individual, with subjects that are relevant to their jobs. One example given was an attack that posed as job applications for review by a corporate executive. The MS Word attachment that was emailed could actually contain a Trojan horse, or a malicious program disguised as a benign one, and it could have been delivered right to the desktop of the CEO.

Is this the excuse we are all looking for to not read any more email?
Probably not. I for one have no intentions of dusting off my fax machine.


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