According to the FBI’s annual cyber-crime report, released on Tuesday this week, U.S. businesses and individuals lost $3.5 billion to cyber-criminals in 2019. The bureau’s Internet Core Competency Certification (IC3) stated that phishing, non-payment/non-delivery scams and extortion were the most frequently reported crimes.
The rise in sophistication among cyber-criminals resulted in new attack vectors and ever-more innovative entry points – from tried-and-tested emails to text messages and fake websites which look nearly identical to the real thing.
Just as Kivu saw in its own data, the IC3 noted a large number of Business Email Compromise incidents last year. However, whereas we often see them as an entry point for more nefarious activity such as ransomware, many of the reports filed with IC3 were of payroll fraud – where BEC was used to trick HR into transferring salaries into criminal accounts.
The main thrust of the release last Tuesday, however, was of the importance of reporting cyber-crime, regardless of its nature or severity.
At Kivu, we believe that it is our duty to help law enforcement with their efforts to bring cyber-criminals to justice. We recognize the importance of preserving forensic data and are diligent in our reporting to the relevant authorities.
In cases where Kivu pays a cryptocurrency ransom, Kivu will provide the end-client, breach coach and insurer with a Sanctions Report outlining its due diligence on the attacker and confirming compliance with relevant legislation. As a U.S. registered Money Services Business (MSB), Kivu also has the ability to file a Suspicious Activities Report (SAR) with FinCEN. Under UK law, we may at times be required to file a SAR for UK clients, but in both cases the victim organization remains anonymous.
With enough time and forewarning, law enforcement agencies can stop fraudulent transactions while they are still being processed – saving victims their money and plenty of headache. According to the report, in 2019 the FBI’s Recovery Asset Team was able to recover over $300 million and return them to their rightful owners. Not only that, but the more details the FBI can gather about individual cases, the faster they can build profiles of criminal groups, which, in turn, helps with the tracking and legal prosecution of cyber-criminals.
To find out more about how we work with law enforcement, contact us.
To read more about the IC3 report, visit the FBI website here.