State and local governments have been hammered with business email compromise (BEC) attacks over the past few years and the onslaught does not appear to be abating.
Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a Private Industry Notification to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments that they are being targeted by BEC attackers. The FBI noted that it is seeing an increase in these attacks, which have caused losses ranging between $10,000 and $4 million.
According to the FBI, state and local governments are low hanging fruit that scammers target because they have inadequate resources and cybersecurity controls. The FBI cites two risks as contributing to these attacks: the move to remote working and the failure to provide sufficient training to the workforce.
The FBI urged all members of the workforce to receive security awareness training, to learn how BEC attacks occur, and how to spot phishing and fraudulent emails. The FBI further suggested that additional measures for state and local governments to adopt include multi-factor authentication on email accounts, blocking automatic email forwarding, monitoring email Exchange servers for configuration changes, enabling alerts for suspicious activity (including foreign IP address logins), adding banners from external sources, and using filtering service (spam filter) as well as internal phishing tests. The FBI Alert is worth a read and can be accessed here.