Newtek Business Services Corp. [NASDAQ:NEWT], a Web services conglomerate that operates more than 100,000 business Web sites and some 40,000 managed technology accounts, had several of its core domain names stolen over the weekend. The theft shut off email and stranded Web sites for many of Newtek's customers.
An email blast Newtek sent to customers late Saturday evening made no mention of a breach or incident, saying only that the company was changing domains due to "increased" security. A copy of that message can be read here (PDF).
In reality, three of their core domains were hijacked by a Vietnamese hacker, who replaced the login page many Newtek customers used to remotely manage their Web sites (webcontrolcenter[dot]com) with a live Web chat service. As a result, Newtek customers seeking answers to why their Web sites no longer resolved correctly ended up chatting with the hijacker instead.
Email fraud is nothing new, but online criminals have become ever more-effective at spoofing their identities to trick employees into sending them money. The Australian Centre for Cyber Security (ACSC) recorded losses of over $20M to business email compromise (BEC) attacks last year alone, up 230 percent over the previous year – and the full amount is certain to be much larger.
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