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Account Takeover Fraud

Account takeover fraud leverages user trust to
capture credentials, penetrate your security, and
inflict maximum damage to your organization.

What is Account Takeover Fraud?

Account takeover fraud involves an attacker stealing an authorized user's credentials to access financial information or sensitive data. Credentials are often stolen by using phishing attack vectors that take advantage of person-to-person trust, such as fake login pages or invoice requests.

Once an attacker has account access, they can go undetected for months. During that time, they can harvest your organization's data and silently drain valuable assets.

In the wrong hands, authorized users credentials can be used to:
• Expose sensitive data and financial information
• Initiate fraudulent payments
• Authorize wire transfers
• Send company-wide phishing emails
• Lockout legitimate users and change company information

As organizations conduct more and more business online, the growing reliance on digital communication networks has made all employees at risk of account takeover attacks. Certain departments — like IT, HR, accounting, and upper management — are especially at risk of corporate account takeover.

What is Account Takeover Fraud?

Breaking Down An Account Takeover Attack

Pretext
Internal Employee
Brand
External Partner/Vendor
Approach
Impersonation
• Spoofing
• Look-alike Domains
• Display Name
Compromised Account
• Employee
• Partner/Vendor/Brand
Delivery
Attachment
URL
Payload-less
Target
Employee Inbox
Employee Inbox

How Does Account Takeover Happen?

Account takeover attacks start long before you are aware of abnormal transactions. First, credential theft strategies are used to seize usernames, password credentials, and authentication tokens. A typical credential theft attack could involve using fake-login pages or keystroke logins to access a victim's account.
Once attackers have access to your account, they can commandeer the account and change the password. Sometimes, they may forward all communications to a new account, allowing them to lurk and silently monitor all departmental activity.
Since the request comes from a seemingly trusted source, an employee will comply with the request. They don't realize that this request has given the attacker the upper hand and compromised their organization's safety.

While there are many types of account takeover attacks, email account compromise and vendor account compromise are two of the most frequent attack vectors.

Email Account Compromise

Email account compromise involves attackers gaining access to internal accounts. They observe how payments and deals transpire within the organization and note the victim's language patterns.

After an observation period, the attacker impersonates an employee, vendor, partner, or brand through a compromised account. They send an invoice or payment request that mimics the organization's internal processes for these requests. It is harder for SEGs to identify them as threats because they blend in with legitimate demands.

Before they are exposed as frauds, email account compromise attacks can end up causing your organization untold sums of money.

Email Account Compromise
Vendor Account Compromise
Vendor account compromise involves attackers leveraging vendor accounts to penetrate your organization. They often hijack existing email threads to take advantage of an already established relationship to undermine your organization. Because of the prior established relationship, these types of attacks have a high success rate. Vendor account compromise can be almost impossible to spot.
Vendor Account Compromise

Stop Tomorrow's Attack Today With
Corporate Account Takeover Protection

Stopping account takeover attacks requires swift action. You must act quickly to identify compromised credentials and deploy quick and strategic actions. Identifying security breaches requires real-time pro-active message scanning, that verifies user authenticity and provides robust protection and integrates easily into your existing systems.

IRONSCALES stops account takeover attacks at their source with tools that combine human intelligence with Al to identify anomalies and root out attackers.

Get complete account takeover protection with IRONSCALES.
Get The Complete IRONSCALES Platform Demo Today >>
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