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Hackers are stealing millions from home buyers and sellers with a crafty scam

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by EF-Roger, Jan 11, 2016.

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  1. EF-Roger

    EF-Roger Member

    Criminal hackers are making millions by targeting property sales, The Telegraph reports.

    People both buying and selling homes are vulnerable to the fraud — which involves faking emails to trick people into sending funds to the hackers' bank accounts.

    There have been nearly 100 incidents recorded, according to data seen by the paper, bringing in more than £10 million for the criminals responsible.

    Here's how it works:

    • First, the hacker gains access to the emails being sent between an estate agent and a prospective buyer or seller.
    • They don't do anything — yet.
    • If a house buyer is being targeted, the hacker will send an email pretending to be the estate agent as the deal is being finalised. The email will tell them that the agent’s bank details have been changed, and will provide anew account for the buyer to send funds to.
      None the wiser, the buyer sends their deposit (or perhaps even the complete funds, if they're paying in cash) over to the hacker's account.
    • If it's a seller being targeted, the hacker will email the estate agent or lawyers involved pretending to be the seller, again claiming that their bank details have changed and will provide a new account to send the funds to.
    • If the fraud goes undetected, the estate agent/lawyer sends over the cash to the criminal.
    • Typically, the money is long gone by the time the buyer and estate agent realises what has happened.
    Read more http://www.businessinsider.com/criminals-hacking-into-house-purchase-emails-to-steal-funds-2016-1
    setupdisc likes this.
  2. DeathXGun

    DeathXGun Member

    Might I say, with all do respect and no remorse nor agreement with such.. horrid ideals, this scam is brilliant and that is quite unfortunate. In modern day times, young adults and, of course, adults themselves have become more knowledgeable. That is what our for-fathers wished for, but by no means did they wish for us programmers and bibliophiles to use this knowledge we gain for evil! I for one am an "Ethical Hacker". This means that I am the one who races against time to prevent these... threats and targets from happening. I think that this ^ is what we need more young adults getting interested in and not... hacking for solid cash that means nothing once stolen. This thread leaves me with a question... Why isn't it that the government tries to eradicate, or at least downsize these attacks, by placing "Ethical Hacking" classes in schools. I can tell you one thing, from horrid experience, hacking can be fun, but what is even better is knowing that you just beat a hacker in real time fighting against his attack. THAT is what programmers need! Young adults need to DO things that are good and get the feeling of it rather than just being taught it. I thank you for this thread and I appreciate it. Great thought/post!

  3. harpazo22

    harpazo22 Member

    That's scary to deal with. I hope they figure out who the hackers are and something is done about it. I also wish people knew better and had better common sense though too. If someone is emailing you this stuff, it's a red flag. They would definitely call you in a situation like that. And even if they did, the buyers should double check and call them to make sure it's not a scam. People just really need to be more careful.
    setupdisc likes this.
  4. setupdisc

    setupdisc Member

    Please don't confuse programmers with "hackers", or hackers with script-kiddies. There are some which are somewhere between a coder and a con artist, but most of the ones doing these things are barely script-kiddies and are just digital cons and nothing more.

    This scheme is social engineering at its finest, and doesn't have anything to do with programming whatsoever. It is instead the exploitation performed by the way things are structured online and the way that humans perceive what they send and receive digitally. No programming was required to do that, just manipulation of the people on both ends without seeing or knowing the transparent threat between them. The only other thing that is required is for the population to remain ignorant of how computers work and the way that the virtual layers they use interact for them to be able to get away with it.

    You might assume that someone wrote malware or a virus to get the details that they needed, but not even that is necessary anymore, because there are so many canned products out there now (virus in a box, literally) to where even the lay people and noobs can go out and buy or download a payload for free and send it to someone as an "update to their operating system" or something else to trick the person they want to do this to into installing what they never should. When that happens, they are then able to remotely connect or situate themselves between the two parties, and not a single line of code was written by them to do in life.

    I honestly don't believe that the Forefathers of the Constitution had any inkling of computer technology lol. At least, nothing beyond the days preceeding Charles Babbage and the abacus. That being said, I don't believe they would have wanted people to do what they are doing though...to take advavntage of people like they have. On that I agree.

    What young adults need is to know what they are talking about. They need to know about the fundamental base of the technology, rather than the virtual levels that are provided to them and sold as "IT" from a level far removed from the foundation. Without that foundation, they start going off on a tangent and into assumptions which are partial or untrue. This happens mostly because they were never allowed to know what exists beyond the virtual levels they were made to think computers and technology are, or because they stop at one level once they believe they have an understanding of it but are in error. What they need (regardless how far they go with their endeavors and understanding) is a moral code and respect for others which transcends the technological aspect and should be a part of their conduct whether it is with business or anything else they choose to do.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

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