UAE businesses on alert ; Police warns local firms of international hackers

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UAE businesses on alert after Dh1m cyber heist

Abu Dhabi Police has issued a warning to companies in the UAE following a spate of cyber-attacks by international hackers.

Two recent cyber heists involving about Dh1million have left business wary because hackers are found to intercept communications of business deals that take place between local buyers and foreign suppliers to target funds.

Colonel Dr Rashid Mohammed Bourshid , Director, Criminal Investigation Department, said there are instances where hackers pose as suppliers and contact local businesses via email. And after taking them into confidence they begin siphoning of funds by asking these firms to transfer money to their bank accounts.

One such fraudulent activity involved a restaurant, where the owner was cheated of $150,000 [Dh550,958]. The hacker gang contacted the owner via email and after learning that he was interested in buying a restaurant in Europe, they set into action. They made him transfer the amount in two installments.

Another incident involved a firm selling construction materials. An international hacking gang established contact with the owner of the firm and siphoned off $100,000 to East Asia. In this case, the hackers even forged the signature of the company owner and gained a power of attorney.

Colonel Dr. Bourshid urged businesses not to rely on email communications. In important and sensitive matters, firms must check facts thoroughly and make phone calls to prevent such acts, he added. He also reminded businesses to not share important information via email, change passwords regularly, use anti-virus software and download safe programs.

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