The 'Art' of Cybercrime

In the wake of Da Vinci’s 'Salvator Mundi' recent record-breaking auction of $450 million at Christie’s in New York, it is no surprise that the art world is a lucrative target for cybercrime.

With art fetching huge figures in auction houses and galleries, said houses and galleries are now being targeted by cyber criminals in order to scam large sums from transactions conducted electronically. Email is the traditional method by which art houses send invoices to their customers, usually accompanied by bank details for customers to transfer the funds into. Around nine galleries in Mayfair have been hit by hackers, with sums of up to £1 million lost as email invoices were intercepted and replaced with the hackers' invoices that held alternative banking details. Criminals simply sat back and waited for the money to be paid into their own banking accounts.

Email interception is the easiest scam to perform, with hackers capturing all email leaving an organisation and picking which emails they want to substitute. This type of hacking does not even require thieves to penetrate an organisation's network! The hackers merely packet-sniff all SMTP traffic leaving and arriving from the Internet and then selectively insert emails to customers purporting to be from the art house.

Email encryption is an inexpensive way to remedy these hacks and ensure that cyber criminals would have no visibility of email content. Managing encrypted email has developed to be a lot easier over the past few years with Public and Private encryption key management now very easy to control. Node4’s EndPoint Management System not only encrypts emails but also encrypts files and folders on devices including USB thumb drives, CDs and DVDs and provides file shredding facilities for unwanted sensitive data.

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