Dangers of Phishing

In June 2014, Keith McMurtry, financial corporate controller for Scoular Co. lost $17 million of the company’s money. And it all started with an email.

Scoular Co. is ranked 55th on Forbes’ 2014 list of America’s Largest Private Companies with $6.2 billion in annual revenues. On June 26, 2014 someone decided they wanted a share of those revenues.

Keith McMurtry was sent a seemingly innocent email from Scoular’s CEO, Chuck Elsea. This email asked McMurtry to wire $780,000, to a bank account in China.

“I need you to take care of this,” read the email from the attackers pretending to be Elsea. “For the last months we have been working, in coordination and under the supervision of the SEC, on acquiring a Chinese company… This is very sensitive, so please only communicate with me through this email, in order for us not to infringe SEC regulations.”

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