Phishing attacks against companies have soared dramatically over the past 18 months, and losses have climbed into the billions, according to an FBI advisory issued this week.

FBI officials issued an alert this week that phishing attacks targeted at businesses worldwide have soared to a $3.1 billion scam in the past 18 months. A new technique employing data theft has been put into play since this latest tax season.

Specifically, the FBI focused on business email compromise (BEC) scams as the root cause of this increase. According to the bureau's June 14 alert . . . 

To all : Every major holiday the PCSC sends this alert message out to all of its members. Extended holiday weekends are documented, high-risk, periods for those that ship any type of goods – be they of high value or something of a lesser nature. All types of cargo thieves, whether organized or not, are very active during these periods because most of us are not - and we tend to relax much more than we should. All the major statistical entities that collect supply chain disruption data will tell you that theft activity (be it a burglary of a warehouse or theft of a transportation conveyance) can increase as much as 40% over non-holiday periods. All the more reason to prepare NOW, for the upcoming 4th of July weekend.

Supply chain disruptions including crime, terror threats, weather events and the migrant crisis added $56 billion to supply chain costs last year, according to the British Standards Institution (BSI). Cargo crimes cost the industry $22.6 billion, while the top five natural disasters cost a collective $33 billion. BSI notes that, for this year, "emerging health crises, such as the Zika virus, could also pose a significant threat to the global supply chain and may lead to work stoppages and protests similar to the supply chain disruptions seen in conjunction with the Ebola epidemic." 


False entries made by an airport screener on the list of checked goods and a casual smoke break taken by another one were the last straw for the UK monitoring team, leading to the temporary ban on Dhaka-London direct air cargo.  The Daily Star learnt this from a report of the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and a reliable source in the British High Commission in Dhaka . . .

. . . UK experts inspected the Dhaka airport in November and December last year and found serious security lapses and risks.  “Findings were horrible. Overall, the airport failed to meet the required security standards in 75 percent of the observations. In 25 percent of the observations, security standards were being consistently met,” said a report prepared by the UK experts after the follow-up visit in December.  

About cargo, the report mentioned, “In 80 percent of the observations, security measures were not complied.”  Talking to this newspaper recently, Rashed Khan Menon said, “We have fulfilled 70 percent of the requirements and meeting the rest 30 percent is under process.”

Pirates lin waters off western Malaysia in January 2006 were using data stolen from a shipping company's systems to target cargo ships and steal specific crates of valuables in hit-and-run attacks.

When the terms "pirate" and "hacker" are used in the same sentence, usually it's a reference to someone breaking digital rights management on software. But that wasn't the case in an incident detailed in the recently released Verizon Data Breach Digest report, unveiled this week at the RSA security conference. Verizon's RISK security response team was called in by a global shipping company that had been the victim of high-seas piracy aided by a network intrusion . . .