It has emerged that one of Australia’s wealthiest businessmen, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, has been the victim of computer malware that siphoned more than half a million dollars from his laptop last month.
The malware targeted the billionaire via an infected spreadsheet that changed the bank account details of planned investments to the scammer’s account. The scammer was able to transfer $615,000 before the bank alerted the Forrest family and they disconnected the computer from their home network.
Forrest Family Investments, owned by Mr Forrest and his wife, have launched legal action against the NSW man, who has had his bank accounts frozen and orders granted against him preventing overseas travel.
Scammers are getting smarter and smarter and cases of malware like the one mentioned above and Cryptolocker are on the rise. Once they have access to your data they can demand payment or threaten to destroy all your files, this is particularly dangerous is you have any business related data on your device.
Again, this highlights the need for your data to be secure and to have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place if everything goes wrong. As demonstrated by this latest malware, it doesn’t take much for an entire device to be compromised, and if it’s being used for business purposes your entire business is at risk.
Mr Forrest is believed to be worth $5 billion and is among Australia’s top 10 richest people, proving that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can still be vulnerable to scammers.
Watch Ross Greenwood explain below the dangers of these scams and how accountants are now being targeted by sophisticated scammers.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) September 25, 2016
Scams are no longer suspicious emails with terrible spelling mistakes, they are getting smarter and harder to pick, it always pays to remain vigilant against potential malware and always double check when transferring money.