Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Scenarios - Supply Chain

Like many other sectors the e-Supply Chain does not escape the attention of cyber criminals by way of fake invoices. Two of the largest software multinationals in Silicon Valley (household names) fell foul of a simple but ingenious bogus invoicing scam that cost them $122m over a two year period before the fraud was detected. Fortunately, the FBI got involved and recovered most of the funds and after extradition to the USA the individual was charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering through bank accounts in Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, Hong Kong and New York.

The elaborate scam succeeded for quite a while by utilising identity theft and plagiarism, From a small town in Lithuania, a fake company with the same name as a real Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Quanta Computer, was set up. This was then used to set up fake corporate bank accounts in Cyprus and Latvia. Using forged paperwork featuring false corporate stamps and forged executive signatures, carefully crafted emails were sent to the multinationals (forged contracts and invoices attached) asking for payment for hardware. The emails requested that payments be made to the fake company’s fake bank account details. Even fake letters that claimed to come from the real Quanta corporation's actual bank, asked employees at the multinationals to send money instead to one of the fake accounts – everything was fake. It is simply too easy to appear genuine online and the consequences speak for themselves. We need to remove the opportunity that cybercrime exploits and take back control of our online identity.

Assurances about genuine online identities with legitimate authority are now essential to high-value B2B transactions. The opportunities for reducing invoicing fraud and eliminating signature forgery can be achieved by assigning unique e-signatures to genuine executive officers identities, based on assurances about the legitimate identities.

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