Latest in Gear

Image credit: taa22 via Getty Images

Hacker sells access to hundreds of corporate executives' email accounts

The breaches could lead to extortion or fraud.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 29, 2020
330 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

This is a photograph of businessman using laptop computer
taa22 via Getty Images

Hackers are fond of hijacking email accounts, and one of them may have obtained a motherlode of potential targets. ZDNet and Gizmodo report that a hacker is selling claimed access to “hundreds” of C-suite executives’ Microsoft-based email accounts, including CEOs, vice presidents and directors. The targets include the chief of a mid-sized American software company, the president of a US apparel maker and the CFO of a European retail chain.

The accounts are on the market in a limited-access Russian underground forum and sell for $100 to $1,500 each depending on the value. Threat intelligence firm KELA noted the hacker might have obtained the account logins by buying data from computers infected with a data-stealing AzorUlt trojan.

A source for ZDNet claimed to have confirmed authenticity of two accounts, although it’s not certain if that holds for every victim. That same tipster is also notifying companies whose information is known to have leaked.

If the login theft is as successful as it seems, it could hurt both the executives and their workers. This could be used for relatively common scams that fool rank-and-file staff into sending money to hackers posing as company leaders. The accounts might also help with blackmail and extortion campaigns. Intruders could even crack other accounts by using the access to defeat email-based two-factor authentication. To put it another way, the damage could extend well beyond the leaders themselves.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
330 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Presenting the Best of CES 2021 winners!

Presenting the Best of CES 2021 winners!

View
Audi and BMW shut down car subscription programs

Audi and BMW shut down car subscription programs

View
'Hitman 3' owners won't have to buy earlier games to play their maps

'Hitman 3' owners won't have to buy earlier games to play their maps

View
ICYMI: More gadget highlights from CES 2021

ICYMI: More gadget highlights from CES 2021

View
Canon made a site that lets you 'take photos' from a real satellite

Canon made a site that lets you 'take photos' from a real satellite

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr