News and Updates on Information Technology

United States – Philabundance

Exploit: Business Email Compromise
Philabundance: Hunger Relief Non-Profit

Risk to Small Business: 2.017 = Severe

Hunger relief charity Philabundance got bilked by BEC scammers at the worst possible time. The charity, which fed 54,700 Philadelphians weekly in 2019, is now feeding 134,800 people each week. This incident occurred when the organization paid a construction bill of over $923,000 for a new $12 million facility built in North Philly for its Community Kitchen program, only to discover that they’d paid scammers instead. It’s believed that the con was enabled by a hack on the charity’s computer systems in July that enabled scammers to divert legitimate email from the construction company and replace it with their own fakes. Philabundance says that daily operations will not be impacted by the incident, but it remains a huge problem for this organization at a time when so many Americans rely on programs like this to keep their families fed.

Individual Risk: No personal or consumer information was reported as impacted in this incident.

Customers Impacted: 134,800 Philadelphians daily

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Business email compromise scams are some of the thorniest problems that every business faces. Good regularly refreshed security awareness training will help employees spot and stop BEC scams.