28.06.2017

£10 million lost to increasingly common email hacking

£10 million lost to increasingly common email hacking

Home buyers and sellers have lost more than £10 million to email security breaches over the last 12 months.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has recorded 91 victims of conveyancing fraud. On average, these criminals are able to carry out two frauds per week, with each fraud worth in excess of £110,000. 

The online crime begins with the attacker using malware to monitor emails sent between a solicitor and a home buyer.

They look for anywhere cash transactions are mentioned. The attack can target either the solicitors’ emails or the the buyer. 

The attacker then observes the digital communication until a bank transfer is about to be made, from here they can intercept and redirect the payment anonymously. 

They send the home buyer an email which appears to be from the solicitor’s address, typically telling them that the details of the law firm’s bank account has changed. 

The unsuspecting home buyer sends their cash to the new account, where it is syphoned off.

Often the money will then be sent to numerous accounts around the world, making the money virtually impossible to trace. 

The Solicitors Regulation Authority watchdog issued a warning to law firms.

"This is an issue that is not going away. Law firm client accounts are being targeted and solicitors and their clients are suffering disruption and potential loss. 

'It is essential that firms understand the risks and take precautions to avoid falling victim to these attacks.’

If you are concerned about your business being targeted by email fraud, contact us to speak with a Frama Digital Communications specialist who can advise you on how to improve your online security.

Contact us