Scam­mers hit Cham­ber

Fake emails sent to members in phish­ing trip

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON cameron@ news. com. au

domanii. CY­BER scam­mers are tar­get­ing the Townsville Cham­ber of Com­merce with the or­gan­i­sa­tion con­sid­er­ing tak­ing out in­sur­ance against at­tacks fol­low­ing a spate of email phish­ing in­ci­dents.

The cham­ber fell vic­tim to the lat­est phish­ing at­tack on Wed­nes­day, when an email claim­ing to be from the or­gan­i­sa­tion was sent to a num­ber of its members.

It comes af­ter a sim­i­lar inci- dent three months ago, when emails claim­ing to be from the cham­ber were sent to lo­cal busi­nesses re­quest­ing that an at­tached doc­u­ment be opened.

The cham­ber says its com­puter sys­tems have not been breached but there are fears scam­mers with “a sense of lo­cal economies” are tar­get­ing Townsville busi­nesses.

On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, the cham­ber was forced to send an email to members which read: “SCAM ALERT – we have been in­formed of lo­cal busi­nesses re­ceiv­ing emails from Jeff Go­dron from Du­ratek Com­po­nents pre­tend­ing to rep­re­sent the Townsville Cham­ber of Com­merce. This per­son is not af­fil­i­ated with the Townsville Cham­ber.”

Chief ex­ec­u­tive MarieClaude Brown said while there had been no breach of the cham­ber’s com­puter sys­tems, the at­tack was con­cern­ing.

“This is a point in the year where we are send­ing in­voices to our members – it’s cre­at­ing con­fu­sion,” she said. Ms Brown said a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent oc­curred about three months ago.

“Right now we are con­sid­er­ing an in­sur­ance pol­icy on cy­ber at­tacks and we’re as­sess­ing whether we need an­other layer of pro­tec­tion,” she said.

“The in­ten­sity of this ( lat­est at­tack) was a lot larger.

“I don’t know if it’s a virus or tro­jan horse and I don’t know what their in­tents are.”

Con­rad Law prin­ci­pal Ian Con­rad, who re­ceived the lat­est spam email this week, said it was dis­con­cert­ing.

“It seemed to be tar­get­ing me or the law firm and was try­ing to hack into my server,” he said. “We do have three levels of pro­tec­tion on the com­put­ers at work, touch wood we haven’t had any prob­lems.”

Mr Con­rad said when he re­ceived the email, he had first thought it was le­git­i­mate.

“Prob­a­bly in the last month I would have seen eight or nine ( phish­ing) emails, three or four claimed to be from Queens­land,” he said.

“Some­body who has a sense of lo­cal economies is try­ing to fall un­der the guard of peo­ple and it seems to be specif­i­cally tar­get­ing in­dus­tries.”

Townsville po­lice Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Ray Ro­hweder said hack­ing and phish­ing were not un­com­mon in Townsville. “It could be some­one lo­cal but they’re usu­ally over­seas,” he said.

“De­pen­dent upon the cir­cum­stances they’re li­able for up to 10 years im­pris­on­ment.

“We of­ten get com­plaints from peo­ple in re­la­tion to these mat­ters. We do have ways of in­ves­ti­gat­ing them but we gen­er­ally find they’re com­mit­ted by peo­ple over­seas us­ing very hard to track and quite ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy that makes these types of in­ves­ti­ga­tions quite com­plex.”

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