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.
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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.