Security Unlocked 7.7.21
Ep 35 | 7.7.21

Looking a Gift Card Horse in the Mouth

Show Notes

Is it just me, or do you also miss the good ole days of fraudulent activity? You remember the kind I’m talking about, the emails from princes around the world asking for just a couple hundred dollars to help them unfreeze or retrieve their massive fortune which they would share with you. Attacks have grown more nuanced, complex, and invasive since then, but because of the unbelievable talent at Microsoft, we’re constantly getting better at defending against it.  

On this episode of Security Unlocked, hosts Nic Fillingham and Natalia Godyla sit down with returning champion, Emily Hacker, to discuss Business Email Compromise (BEC), an attack that has perpetrators pretending to be someone from the victim’s place of work and instructs them to purchase gift cards and send them to the scammer. Maybe it’s good to look a gift card horse in the mouth?  

In This Episode You Will Learn:  

  • Why BEC is such an effective and pervasive attack 
  • What are the key things to look out for to protect yourself against one 
  • Why BEC emails are difficult to track 

Some Questions We Ask:  

  • How do the attackers mimic a true-to-form email from a colleague? 
  • Why do we classify this type of email attack separately from others? 
  • Why are they asking for gift cards rather than cash? 


Emily Hacker’s LinkedIn

FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report

Microsoft Security Blog


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Security Unlocked is produced by Microsoft and distributed as part of The CyberWire Network.