Publishing house Condé Nast was nearly defrauded of almost $8m by a well-crafted spear-phishing e-mail, court papers have revealed.
Condé Nast made nearly $8m in payments to a scammer's bank account after falling for a single spear-phishing e-mail, say reports.
The e-mail, sent in November, requested Condé Nast to fill in a form to switch payments to a new account for its printer Quad Graphics.
Condé Nast completed the form and sent it by fax to a number provided in the e-mail.
Nearly $8m of funds were transferred before Condé Nast realised the money was not going to Quad Graphics, but to an account set up by scammer Andy Surface in Texas.
When Quad Graphics confirmed it had not changed its banking information, Condé Nast notified the FBI and the Secret Service.
The publisher also applied for a federal seizure warrant to freeze all funds sent to the bogus account until a forfeiture lawsuit was filed.
Surface has not yet been charged, but the case is a classic example of how scammers can net large sums of money using carefully crafted e-mails.