We have written on previous occasions about the rise in frequency and severity of Business Email Compromise (BEC) cyberattacks. As explained in other posts, BEC attacks are a type of phishing scam typically targeting companies in order to fraudulently direct payments of money to accounts associated with the attackers. Attackers typically target high-level executives or employees with access to financial systems. After the BEC attack, victims have typically had difficulty recovering the fraudulently misdirected funds, which are usually moved to offshore accounts very quickly.
However, a recent court decision in Virginia may have provided a roadmap for some BEC victims to seek compensation from the financial institutions that facilitate the fraudulent transfers of money. In Studco Bldg. Sys. US, LLC v. 1st Advantage Fed. Credit Union, WL 1926747 (2023), a United States District Court Judge held that one of the financial institutions involved in facilitating a BEC payment did not act in a commercially reasonable manner in allowing the transaction to take place. Because the financial institution acted negligently, the victim of the BEC was awarded a judgment of $558,868.71
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