Many real estate professionals have become keenly aware of targeted wire fraud scams that include email impersonation tactics. A growing avenue cyber criminals are using to get highly sensitive financial data is known as spear phishing, according to Asaf Cidon, vice president of content security for Barracuda Networks, a data protection company.
Spear phishing is a highly targeted and researched personal attack that is difficult to detect. Hackers might not use a malicious link or attachment, but will instead use nonalarming messages—sometimes impersonating another individual—in order to trick users into thinking the sender is safe so they offer up confidential information. This could be in the form of wire transfer instructions or other financial data.
Hackers are currently exploiting reliance on technology in all sorts of industries. Currently, wire fraud is plaguing the real estate industry and experts suggest internal training and the implementation of more stringent security measures to protect real estate transactions. While internal measures are important, real estate transactions involved many moving parts and it would also be prudent to ensure other parties to these transactions are well versed on the risks.