Google and Facebook Lost $100 Million in Phishing Scam

Phishing scam

Google and Facebook lost $100 million in a phishing scam performed by a Lithuanian hacker

Back in March, news circulated that two American tech giants were the victims of a clever phishing scam. Initially, the news did not reveal the names of the companies. Now it turns out that the companies in question were Google and Facebook.

The companies themselves admitted that they were the victims of phishing. This was quite a serious issue, as they lost $100 million after this unpleasant affair. More details also surfaced about the one responsible with this scam. It was a hacker from Lithuania who developed this scheme and obtained money from the companies.

Lithuanian hacker pretends to represent Asian tech company

The hacker, Evaldas Rimasauskas, aged 48, pretended to be an Asian businessman who wanted to collaborate with the two companies. Thus, he convinced them to send more than $100 million between 2013 and 2015.

Rimasauskas pretended to represent a Taiwanese company which produces electronic devices. Among this company’s client there stood Google and Facebook. A detailed investigation unveiled all the techniques that Rimasauskas used during the elaborate scam.

The company he pretended to represent was Quanta Computer, founded in 1988, which often collaborated with both Facebook and Google. He used complex hacking mechanisms through which he forged accounts and invoices, so that he could convince the companies that he was representing the actual companies.

Rimasauskas awaits the decision of the Lithuanian authorities

When they discovered the scam, Rimasauskas was already in possession of a huge sum of money which he distributed in several banks across Europe. After the investigation, the hacker was caught and a part of the money was even returned to the companies.

Right now, the Lithuanian authorities are currently debating the extradition proposal of Rimasauskas. If they receive an approval, the thief will be sent to the United States for a trial. Rimasauskas’ lawyer, Linas Kuprusevicius, claims that his client will not face a fair trial if it takes place in the United States. Also, as the investigation underwent in the same country, he denounces the charges as unfair.

This incident shows that not even the big companies are safe from phishing scams. If the hacker is skillful enough to forge documents and accounts, he might gather access even to the most protected information. Also, companies should tell the public when they get hacked, as money loss is categorized as an event that shareholders should be aware of.
Image Source: Flickr

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