How Wellcome Trust Executives Got Whaled By Oldest Trick In The Fraud Playbook

Davey Winder writes:

It hasn’t been the greatest week for the non-profit sector with the revelation that two well-known charities have fallen victim to less than charitable cyber con-artists. In the same week that the Save the Children Federation confirmed it had been scammed out of $1 million by email fraudsters, so the Wellcome Trust has revealed the email of four senior executives was compromised and sensitive information monitored for several months. Without wishing to be uncharitable, both of these cyber-attacks fall firmly into the ‘oldest trick in the book’ category.


Let me start by saying that I am not in the habit of victim shaming; the focus must be on the threat actor when it comes to attributing bad guy status. That said, as we fast approach 2019, I also think the time for pussy-footing around the lack of security awareness issue within many large organizations has long since passed. The Wellcome Trust is most certainly a large organization any which way you look at it; in fact, with some £26 billion of assets, it is the biggest charity in Britain. So, when I read in my copy of the Times today that no less than four senior executives were “misled into entering their passwords when sent a link to click on” my will live to live starts fading away. 

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